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Virtual communities are usually dispersed geographically, and therefore are not communities under the original definition.Some online communities are linked geographically, and are known as community websites.
Rheingold also points out the potential benefits for personal psychological well-being, as well as for society at large, of belonging to a virtual community.Virtual communities all encourage interaction, sometimes focusing around a particular interest or just to communicate. Community members are allowed to interact over a shared passion through various means: message boards, chat rooms, social networking World Wide Web sites, or virtual worlds.The traditional definition of a community is of geographically circumscribed entity (neighborhoods, villages, etc.). – The Intel Exchange Forum :: Information and discussion on various topics, ranging from Illegal Activities and Alternative Energy, to Conspiracy Theories and Hacking.Same people from Snap BBS on a fully secure, moderated and categorized forum.The vast number and diversity of individuals participating in virtual communities worldwide makes it a challenge to test usability across platforms to ensure the best overall user experience.
Some well-established measures applied to the usability framework for online communities are speed of learning, productivity, user satisfaction, how much people remember using the software, and how many errors they make.
Virtual communities may synthesize Web 2.0 technologies with the community, and therefore have been described as Community 2.0, although strong community bonds have been forged online since the early 1970s on timeshare systems like PLATO and later on Usenet.
Online communities depend upon social interaction and exchange between users online.
This interaction emphasizes the reciprocity element of the unwritten social contract between community members.
User Experience is the ultimate goal for the program or software used by an internet community, because user experience will determine the software’s success..
The human computer interactions that are measured during a usability experience test focus on the individuals rather than their social interactions in the online community.