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Abstract

Drawing upon the literature on social network analysis, this research examines how part-time marketers use tourism blogs to conduct relationship marketing with their customers. The findings from an interpretive case study indicate that the network pictures of part-time blog marketers can be categorized into three distinct models: the “fan club,” the “compliance,” and the “creative outlet” models. Our findings also suggest that different network pictures lead to different network management strategies for blogs. Moreover, providing instrumental support and especially material support by blog marketers play significant roles in aggrandizing this transitivity, which helps to attract more visitors to blog sites. We believe that the innovation and the potential connections derived from the individualistic styles of some bloggers and the hedonic emotional support given to tourism blogs should not be overlooked. Our findings also indicate that more incentives and freedom should be provided to tourism business bloggers in order to prosper in their grassroots use of technology.

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