Virtual communities are a prominent business model of the World Wide Web, as they can combine reach and selectivity based on user needs. Not only do virtual communities fill a strategic niche ? they also tend to have a stronger operational performance than other B2C business models in their early stage of development, according to a confidential sample of Internet-based companies participating in the e-performance line of McKinsey & Company. In spite of these encouraging results, virtual communities must continue to increase their performance, in particular cost-effectiveness, steadily along their life cycle in order to ensure strong value creation for the long term.
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