A Community Membership Life Cycle Model
(2010)cite arxiv:1006.4271 Comment: Presented at the International Network For Social Network Analysis (INSNA): Sunbelt Conference 2009, San Diego, California, USA. 9 pages, 6 figures.

Web 2.0 is transforming the internet: Information consumers become information producers and consumers at the same time. In virtual places like Facebook, Youtube, discussion boards and weblogs diversificated topics, groups and issues are propagated and discussed. Today an internet user is a member of lots of communities at different virtual places. "Real life" group membership and group behavior has been analyzed in science intensively in the last decades. Most interestingly, to our knowledge, user roles and behavior have not been adapted to the modern internet. In this work, we give a short overview of traditional community roles. We adapt those models and apply them to virtual online communities. We suggest a community membership life cycle model describing roles a user can take during his membership in a community. Our model is systematic and generic; it can be adapted to concrete communities in the web. The knowledge of a community's life cycle allows influencing the group structure: Stage transitions can be supported or harmed, e.g. to strengthen the binding of a user to a site and keep communities alive.
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