Offline and Online Communities: Great Differences and Some Similarities

Part of the Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation book series (LNISO, volume 1)


The concept of community has evolved considerably: from an essentially closed, spontaneous community based blood ties, space sharing, and spiritual connection to a planned community without clear borders. Due to the online communication phenomenon a traditional society is superseded by a virtual society. A society that is innovative because it involves a variety of cultures with their richness and diversity, and it is advanced because it requires ways of interactions that differ from the ones typical of traditional life. Then, can ICT create a real society? This is one of the questions at stake and the origin of the necessity to investigate online community. Further, does it reproduce the characteristics of a traditional community? An analysis of main organizational forms that typify the net suggests something different and community is representative only of a small number of such social groupings and a more precise terminology is necessary to identify them.


Online community Offline community Transactions cost approach Governance structures Collective action 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cersi—Luiss “Guido Carli” UniversityRomeItaly

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