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How does sense of virtual community impact users’ content production in the social media context?
Since the advent of social media websites that allow the sharing of user-generated content (UGC), virtual communities have developed in exciting new directions. As a result, rich, high-quality content has become essential for firms seeking to maintain a competitive edge in this environment. Research into sense of virtual community (SOVC) in the UGC environment and the relationship between SOVC and the production of UGC, however, is limited. In response, this paper presents a case study of a video-sharing website in China (Ku6) in which the authors explore the characteristics of SOVC in a commercial UGC context. More specifically, the study examines whether users develop SOVC as they do in non-commercial contexts. The study also considers the role of SOVC in developing a productive UGC community. The results show a marginal positive relationship between SOVC and the ongoing production of UGC. These findings further understanding of SOVC in the commercial UGC environment and have important implications for managing UGC websites. In addition, the research showcases the development of virtual communities in a booming emerging market.
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Ying Wang is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Williamson College of Business Administration, Youngstown State University. Her research focuses on advertising through new media and global marketing communication, and her work has been published in numerous academic journals. She has an undergraduate degree from Renmin University of China, and master’s and PhD degrees from Kent State University. Before working in academia she conducted consulting projects for high-profile international companies such as 3Com, IBM, Motorola, Fujifilm, Compaq, HP and Marriott Hotel.