The new neighbourhood in the internet era: Network communities serving local communities

  • Capece G
  • Costa R
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The past two decades have witnessed many attempts to transform online communities in new neighbourhoods of the Internet era. In particular, one of the most interesting applications of Internet Technologies in this field have been ‘network communities’, that differ from online communities because they refer to a specific territory and, for this reason, serve as a social catalyst for the corresponding territorial community. Network communities, as virtual neighbourhoods, have the purpose of allowing a better understanding of physical ones, contributing to the creation and the proliferation of services most suited to the needs of residents. For this reason, municipalities and local governments should consider the opportunity to exploit network communities as useful tools for local community management. Following this lead, this article analyses a real case study and highlights the existence of a positive correlation between a constructive utilisation of a network community by its members, their sense of community and the degree of their involvement in local problems

Author-supplied keywords

  • computer mediated communication
  • local community
  • network community
  • sense of community
  • social network
  • technosociality

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