In this dissertation we explore the different technological aspects which have gone far in facilitating people to open up new spaces of identity. In reality when we communicate with another person we do not get to know about their likes and dislikes and other features and it makes us almost impossible to select the right one. If the entire profile of the person is revealed as in MySpace.com and Orkut.com it gets very easy to communicate with the right person.
The technology has brought in powerful combination of Internet capabilities and web technologies that promotes creating such spaces over the internet in the form of online communities. There are several factors which promote the elasticity of the online communities and bring in more people to share information and make ones knowledge and resources available to the large section of people. 'Am a very busy person and literally had no time to check every company website to whom I applied for internship. MySpace.com was a global community which allowed posting of information meant for a community, I recently got a notification and it helped me to get a job'. (MySpace.com)
1. Anticipated Reciprocity: A person is motivated to contribute valuable information to the group in the expectation that one will receive useful help and information in return. Indeed, there is evidence that active participants in online communities get more responses faster to questions than unknown participants (Kollock, 1999). This is indeed very true for other sites like Orkut.com, a Google community where active participants use the technology to communicate with people. Even Yahoo.com has a service called Yahoo Answers which is pretty fast is responding to its members and also it acknowledges all the other members too.
2. Increased Recognition: Every being wants recognition for their contribution and they would want it to the degree of visibility in the entire community they belong. Myspace.com encourages elaborate profiles for members where they can share all kinds of information about themselves including what music they like, their heroes, etc. In addition to this, many communities give incentives for contributing. For example, many forums award you points for posting such as Yahoo Answers, who allot points to its members for asking and answering a question. EBay is an example of an online community where reputation is very important because it is used to measure the trustworthiness of someone you potentially will do business with. With eBay, you have the opportunity to rate your experience with someone and they, likewise, can rate you. This has an effect on the reputation score.
3. Sense of Efficacy: Individuals contribute valuable information because the act results in a sense of efficacy, that is, a sense that they have had some effect on this environment. There is well-developed research literature that has shown how important a sense of efficacy is and making regular and high quality contributions to the group can help individuals believe that they have an impact on the group and support their own self-image as an efficacious person.
4. Sense of Community: People, in general, are fairly social beings and it is motivating to many people to be responded