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Abstract

Divergent opinions exist on the basic understanding of the concept, virtual community. This study offers a working definition by examining different definitions, and proposes adoption of virtual community classifications. It also includes a summary of research conducted in the field. The research categorizes the different stages in virtual community growth to show the transition of research in this area. The results illustrate a paucity of technology development studies. We also investigate the extent of the adoption of informatics in these communities using a survey 200 virtual communities. The results indicate that discussion forum is the most popular tool adopted in virtual communities. The integration of the research review and tool adoption survey contributes to the generation of an agenda to direct future virtual community research.

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