Comunidades virtuales y colaboración offline: cuatro casos de estudio

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Stefano Agostini
  • Biografía

    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
  • Biografía

    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


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:
Group communication, Social media, Communication, Qualitative analysis, Case studies (Source: Thesaurus Unesco) Comunicación en grupo, Medios sociales, Comunicación, Análisis cualitativo, Estudio de caso (Fuente: Thesaurus Unesco)

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