The Antecedents and Consequences of Sense of Community On Social Networking Sites

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Conference Proceeding

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Evolution of information technologies facilitates new forms of communication and enables emergence of virtual communities. One key question which has been debated among researchers is whether virtual communities represent bona fide communities or if they are better described as networks of individuals. We draw on research in traditional offline communities, which emphasizes psychological sense of community as the focal construct for understanding community dynamics, and we develop a nomological framework of antecedents and consequences associated with sense of community. We evaluate the framework in a survey of 638 Facebook users. We find that sense of place associated with the social networking site and social interactions contribute to the development of sense of community among social networking site users. We also find that sense of community is a key attitudinal factor affecting information sharing and intentions to remain a member of the social networking site.

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