Feeling the sense of community in social networking usage

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74 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, social networking systems have become quite popular, and have been established for a variety of purposes. However, it is still not well understood if sense of community (SOC) contributes to an individual users continued usage of these systems. This paper presents a theoretical model combining key constructs from the SOC framework and the information systems usage/success models to evaluate social networking usage. We surveyed users from popular social networking sites to test the validity of the research model. Our results indicate that while user satisfaction is still the most salient determinant for system usage, SOC also plays a significant role in the users online social interaction process. Besides its direct influence on usage, SOC also indirectly influences usage through user satisfaction. In addition, we show that SOC is a multidimensional construct that should be measured using several components. We also demonstrate that the quality of the information contained in the communities has a significant impact on SOC, but system quality does not seem to influence it. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
Pages (from-to)225-239
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

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Keywords

  • Information systems (ISs) success
  • Online communities
  • Sense of community (SOC)
  • Social networking systems
  • Social networking usage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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