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Online communities and sense of community

I have recently been interacting with a fan website as a type of community online. My interaction with the site has been positive and I had some questions regarding online community, participatory culture, and online identity.

1) How do online communities that focus around a central fan based topic create a sense of community?
2) How are users of such communities able to channel their fandom in to a personal identity and community?
3) How do these online communities reinforce one's sense of community, identity, and enforce a participatory culture?
4) What are some articles or resources that discuss how online communities are able to do such things?

Thank you!

Solution Preview

I have outlined some ideas and information for you. You will want to look over the references provided to make the essay more in line with your focus. Additionally, the references will guide you to further information for the assignment, giving you a fuller idea of the online communities and the sense of community.

People find others with common interests when they are participants in online communities, especially those that are fan based sites. The members find a place to discuss not only their favorite topic, but also their own ideas and observations with others who like and appreciate the same focus.

An example is the online communities for fans of the television show, Xena. The television show and its stars are discussed and from these discussions, producers decided to provide a more focused forum in the form of a Xena Com every year and in several ...

Solution Summary

A discussion of online communities, fan based, and how they foster a sense of community.