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The role of Web 2.0 applications on niche culture diffusion: An empirical study on the influence of online forums on fans of rock music

Nan Zhang (School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the roles Web 2.0 applications play in niche cultures such as rock music diffusion.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper aims to examine the influence of online forums on fans of rock music and to validate the intermediating roles of the cognitive variables.

Findings

The results show that the three factors associated with innovation diffusion theory play different intermediating roles in the relationship between the stickiness of online forums (their ability to make users stay longer and return) and the levels of appreciation displayed by fans of rock music. While stickiness shows a significant positive impact on an individual's perception and image of a rock band, visibility has a significant negative influence on the individual's level of enthusiasm for the band.

Research limitations/implications

Additional data and measures are required for in‐depth investigations of other cultural contexts.

Practical implications

The study could be helpful for determining the influence of online forums on rock music diffusion and for planning innovative promotions and sales strategies for rock bands. Moreover the findings could be applicable to the marketing and promotion of other niche culture items.

Originality/value

This study's originality lies in confirming the intermediating roles of the cognitive variables based on innovation diffusion theory between online forums' stickiness and appreciation of rock bands by using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach and then by showing the opportunities and challenges provided by networking to rock music.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, N. (2011), "The role of Web 2.0 applications on niche culture diffusion: An empirical study on the influence of online forums on fans of rock music", Online Information Review, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 734-746. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684521111176471

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited