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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Knowing who you are, and trusting who you know
Article Type: Editorial From: Internet Research, Volume 19, Issue 5
Identification – one’s conception of self, and self-disclosure – one’s choice of self knowledge to be shared with others. Two sides to a complex coin that feeds the mechanisms of e-commerce, blog consumption, and community interaction. This issue of Internet Research presents three different perspectives on how what we know of ourselves impacts how we interact online with others.
Are we more inclined to share more information about ourselves when presented with more information about our counterpart? That question, as it relates to Customer versus Company disclosure on websites, is addressed by Chou, Teng, and Lo in “Mutual self-disclosure online in the B2C context”.
While our levels of trust in corporate information sharing may find benefits in self-disclosure, our willingness to accept the blogged opinions of individuals appears to have a completely different basis. In “The acceptance of blogs: using a customer experiential value perspective” Keng and Ting show how customer experiential value theory can be applied to blog consumption, despite the fact that a classic customer-vendor relationship does not exist.
Insights into how internet-driven community-based interactions benefit societies have recently graced the pages of Internet Research (Vol. 19 No. 1 and Vol. 19 No. 3). This issue adds to that emerging tradition with Chu and Chan’s article “Community based innovation: its antecedents and its impact on innovation success”. In this study of five online communities of firms operating in Taiwan, including Microsoft, and Inventec Corporation, we are treated to insights into the factors that promote effective membership and participation in the innovation processes of new product development. Participation in online communities stems from far more than a simple combination of trust and perceived benefits. Of particular interest is the combination of self-efficacy and identification that are shown to have a significant effect on the willingness to share information. Examining these results alongside those of Chou, Teng, and Lo (above) might lead us to question how mutual self-disclosure in communities might further enhance the effects of self-efficacy and identification. Something that researchers might consider investigating down the road.
Technological advances, including those related to the Internet, can be used to control populations or used to empower them. The mere existence of the technology is not what will determine its use, rather the will of the people, the efforts of those that care, and the persistence of people who envision improved government services for their compatriots. It is with that in mind that we are pleased to present “E-government adoption in ASEAN: the case of Cambodia”, by Sang, Lee, and Lee which provides us with both theoretical and strategic insights into the challenges and benefits of e-government adoption. This broad study covering 12 Cambodian government ministries is juxtaposed within the broader framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and provides an excellent basis for future comparative research in other regions of the world. As governments around the world continue to increase the information they collect about their respective citizens, the growing momentum of governments seeking to provide knowledge to their citizens is a welcome counterpoint. Questions of identification and self-disclosure might well be addressed in a government to citizen (G2C) context as well. Perhaps we relate to government self-disclosure differently than we relate to corporate self-disclosure. As e-government adoption advances it will certainly be important to find out.
We conclude this issue with an ambitious analysis of 50 empirical studies in which Voorveld, Niejens, and Smit synthesize 736 findings resulting in “Consumers’ responses to brand websites: an interdisciplinary review”. The result is a clear distinction between user-related and website-related factors, the latter of which can be addressed by managers to create more effective brand-focused websites.
David G. Schwartz