Online communities

Robert Plant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The combination of low-cost access to increasingly powerful computing and networking capabilities combined with a deregulated internet has facilitated the rapid development of a new social phenomena, that of the online community. The potential for near universal internet access and the ability to communicate at costs lower than ever before in human existence has facilitated the development of online communities which work to fulfill two basic human desires, first, to reach out and connect to other human beings and secondly to obtain knowledge.This paper examines the concept and practice of online communities: first, by establishing an understanding of their historical and technological roots; and then by developing a three-dimensional taxonomy through which the properties of the communities can be examined. Case study examples are utilized to illustrate the community types within the taxonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalTechnology in Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Cyberspace
  • Internet
  • Networks
  • Online community
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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