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Networked individualism on the

Chinese Wikipedia community

Yuan Ze University
Graduate school of Social informatics
Shih, Pei-Chun
Virtual community
• Development of Internet has great impacts
on social interaction.
• People grouped together and formed virtual
communities. In communities, they share
information and common goal.
• In Chat rooms, Internet forums, Electronic
mailing lists they formed virtual
Virtual community
• Peter Kollock (1999)
– Motivations for contributing to online
communities: Sense of community
– Sense of community can improve personal
social resource through strengths of
interpersonal relationship. (Ahlbrandt &
Cunningham, 1979)
Networked individualism
• With development of ICTs and social software(i.e.
IMs, Blogs), Wellman (2002)raised a new form of
communication type – networked individualism.
– Person to person
– Place to place
– Person to person
• Effects
– Reduced sense of community.
– Improve personal social resource
Door to door
In this period,
difficult traffic
made people hard
to communication.
In this period,
New transports helped Place to place
people communicated
time and space.

Group to group
Person to person

The ability to connect

with multiple social
milieus, with limited
involvement in each
Research question
• If networked individualism may reduce sense of
community and become the main communication
type, is there a new type of sense of community ?
• Both sense of community and networked
individualism can improve personal social
resource, in the virtual community which will be
main factor of getting social resource?
• Target community: Chinese Wikipedia
– They present highly networked individualism.
• Internet survey
– Sampling frame: 1191 users
– 381 valid respondents
– Response rate: 32%
• Variable definition
– SES: gender, age, education, income, and
access Internet.
– Sense of community: constructed by sense of
community index(Chavis, 1986)
– Networked individualism: constructed by
"Little Boxes, Glocalization, and Networked
Individualism." appendix. (Wellman, 2002)
• Factor analysis
• Sense of community and networked
individualism divided into three variables.
• Original sense of community demarcated
two variables, new variable names
• Regression analysis
• The main factor of getting social resource is
networked individualism.
• In Chinese Wikipedia community,
networked individualism is more important
than sense of community.
• New forms of sense of community: without
the same point of view, but more common
• Reputation system in the community of
Web 2.0
– In regression table, reputation seems to be the
most important factor for personal contribution.
Thanks for your concentration