Online communities form a challenging and still-evolving field for social network research. We highlight two themes that are at the core of social network literature: formative processes and structures, and discuss how these might be relevant in the context of online communities. Processes of tie formation might evolve differently in online communities. Second, we discuss how network structures emerge in different ways than previously studied, and should therefore be interpreted differently.
Groenewegen, P. and Moser, C. (2014), "Online Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Network Research", Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 40), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 463-477. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2014)0000040023
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