Growing more quickly than we can study or come to fully understand it, social computing is much more than the next thing. Whether it is due more to technology-driven convenience or to the basic human need to find kindred connection, online communication and communities are changing the way we live.
Social Computing and Virtual Communities compiles contributions from international experts to offer the sort of multidisciplinary study that is required in any investigation of communities. Delving fully into theories and methods, application areas, and types of online social environments, this book —
- Introduces several theories regarding online social interaction
- Provides a general overview of methodologies, qualitative and quantitative, for analyzing and evaluating virtual communities
- Makes an in-depth investigation into e-learning communities and the formation of social networks of learners
- Examines healthcare communities motivated by physical pain, illness, and burdensome symptoms
- Discusses intellectual property (IP) issues, including those involving user-generated content
- Delves into the topic of online trust
- Introduces virtual communities, in which users immerse themselves in a 3D virtual environment, including MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing games)
- Presents an unusual community of older people of Chinese culture who perceive virtual communities as a place where old beliefs and traditional norms can be preserved
- Explores the rapid rise of social networking sites (SNS)
Books of this kind are uncommon. This work not only provides case studies of different domains of virtual communities and different types of social technologies but also emphasizes theoretical and methodological aspects required to research and analyze such communities.