Comunidades virtuales y colaboración offline: cuatro casos de estudio

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Stefano Agostini
Peter Mechant


In this article we focus on the relationship between online communities, so-called virtual communities (VCs), and offline collaboration in order to gain insight in (1) the relationship between VCs and collaboration and (2) the relationship between the perception of the virtual/virtuality and collaboration. Based on 49 in-depth interviews with members of a social VC (GSCAI), a professional VC (Diarioclown), a non-profit VC (AZALEA) and a commercial VC (F&G) we conclude that VCs can be a cheap and powerful tool to support offline collaboration. However, this efficacy can also destroy or compromise a group. From a theoretical perspective, our study demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of Porter’s typology of virtual communities and suggests extending it with an online-offline orientation or dimension.

Palabras clave:
Comunicación en grupo Medios sociales Comunicación Análisis cualitativo Estudio de caso (Fuente: Thesaurus Unesco)


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Biografía del autor/a

Stefano Agostini, University of Rome

Stefano Agostini holds a degree in Communication Sciences (Bachelor Degree) and graduated in Sociology (BA Honours) in the University of Rome, as well as a PhD in Communication Sciences («UGent” - University of Ghent) and in Theory and Social Research («Sapienza” - University of Rome).

Peter Mechant, Universiteit Gent

Peter Mechant is a PhD in Communication Sciences. He defended his PhD, which focused on interactivity in a Web 2.0 context in April 2012. His main research interests include smart cities, big and open data, Web 2.0 and computermediated communication