Most previous literature on virtual communities has taken a macro perspective viewing the virtual community as a whole instead of looking into the actions of individuals. This study offers a different perspective as it looks into a virtual community from the point of view of the individual. In so doing, we propose a social mechanism that concentrates on the actions of individuals leading up to and including their membership in a specific type of virtual community associated with the file sharing technology Bittorrent. A further analysis is then presented of a macro process which views the membership process as a whole and suggests there that outside forces of technology/community growth, ISP and CSP involvement, and diminishing experience with traditional media commerce further impact community membership.
Shemroske, Kenneth and Silva, Leiser, "A Proposed Social Mechanism for Community Membership: The Case of Online File Sharing Using Bittorrent" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 612.