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Virtual Community
Virtual community

Howard Rheingold used this term for the title of a book about the collections of people who commingle on the Internet in a wide variety of computer-mediated social groups usually based on mutual interest and irrespective of geographical proximity. Online activities within these communities can range from intellectual discussions and exchanging information to flirting and playing games. ‘People in virtual communities do just about everything people do in real life, but we leave our bodies behind … the richness and vitality of computer-linked cultures is attractive, even addictive’ (Rheingold, 1994: 3).

Virtual communities, which became popular in the 1980s when millions of students gained Internet access, can take many forms: two common ones are Usenet – a global network of discussion groups (Hall, J., ...

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