This paper presents a service integration model through a study of major for-profit online communities in both North America and China. Our study examines various types of communities and proposes particular means by which these communities might integrate their services with each other. Three integration strategies are identified: vertical integration, horizontal integration, and hybrid integration. The underlying mechanisms, as well as strategies that are needed to design and implement services, are also discussed.
Cai, Jian; Qiu, Lingyun; and Ren, Fei, "A Service Integration Model of Value Creation: A Study of Commercial Online Communities" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 327.