User communities can be defined as social networks that consist of user nodes interconnected by information transfer links which may involve face-to-face, electronic or any other form of communication (von Hippel 2007). These user networks provide members with connection, support, a sense of belonging, and social identity (Wellman et al. 2002). The widespread and rapid adoption of internet technology has not only facilitated systematic interactions between geographically dispersed individuals who share a common purpose and identity (Wellman 1979), but has also led to a rise in countless online user communities, examples of which include the user-generated video sharing community YouTube, the social-networking community Facebook and the virtual reality community Second Life.
KeywordsInnovation Process User Group Innovation Management User Community Collective Good
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