Communities in Cyberspace

In Taiwan, especially in universities, students like to use BBS (Bulletin Board system) as a medium to communicate others and share some information and opinions. Six years ago, I initially knew how to use BBS, and then I’m captivated in BBS everyday. My friends near around have personal boards on BBS, so I can know and understand their life and feelings by reading their personal boards. Just as the article” Communities in cyberspace” said, BBS is a form of asynchronous communication that refine email discussion lists in a number of ways. A group can interact without everyone gathering at a particular time and they can still exchange messages and sustain discussion on very different schedules or in distant time zones. Thus, even though I study abroad, I can still read those boards of my friends and respond to their articles.
I sinenrely think that BBS is so convenient that I cannot understand why people in other countries don’t want to use it . The interface of BBS is simple and clear;besides, you can go through every kinds of boards in one BBS . That’s so great to me.

What’s more, one thing that has not been mentioned in this article is Blog. In recent years, more and more mass media have discussed blogs, and perhaps as a result, more and more people have begun to use blogs. In the blogosphere, the author of blogs will provide the links that they like or recommend and usually read those blogs and leave a message or issue impressions to some specific articles. At the same time, the author of blogs is also the audience of others in the community. Except for personal writing, the most important characteristic is “Conversation.” Bloggers interact by way of interlinks and mutual responses; thus, we can see some forms of social network in the blogosphere.

In a virtual community, I think people would like present another self and in order to present a better self, they will do some adjustments to conform the request of other people on Internet. They might decorate themselves and deceive other community members. This is a difference between a real life and a virtual community.

However, I agree the study provided by Wellman and Gulia “Virtual communities as communities” and Wellman found that CSSNs(Computer Supported Social Networks) can still sustain some network relationships, such as strong ties, intermediate ties and weak ties that exist in the real community. (Wellman, Barry. (1996) For A Social Network Analysis of Computer Networks: A Sociological Perspective on Collaborative Work and Virtual Community. ACM.) I like and used to communicate with my friends and relatives in this kind of virtual communities. I think I can’t deviate from BBS and blog, because they have become some parts of my life.


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