There is a broad agreement that the establishment of communities among users of online platforms can contribute significantly to the success of the platform. This provoked the demand for guidelines on how to build an online community. Currently, guidelines available in the literature emphasize social and economic aspects of community building and neglect technical aspects. The main hypothesis of the paper is that online communities have two constitutional elements: the community members and the platform. The platform enables online communities by providing a metaphor of a common meeting place and shapes communication with the provided services. Technical aspects therefore have significant effects on community building and an important question is: "What kind of services should a platform have in order to enable, stimulate and foster community building?". The paper tries to provide an answer by identifying community modules and by proposing a typology of online communities and respective community supporting platforms.
Proceedings of the 34th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2001
Los Alamitos, Calif.
34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)