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Online Communities: Networks that nurture long-distance relationships and local ties

Online Communities: Networks that nurture long-distance relationships and local ties

Many use the Internet to connect with online communities that embrace their hobbies, their professions, their passions and their beliefs. Twenty-eight million go online with church groups, sports leagues and social organizations in their home towns. Sociologist Barry Wellman argues that many new social arrangements are being formed through ?glocalization? ? the capacity of the Internet to expand users? social worlds to faraway people and simultaneously to bind them more deeply to the place where they live. This report illustrates how widely ?glocalization? is occurring. The Internet helps many people find others who share their interests no matter how distant they are, and it also helps them increase their contact with groups and people they already know and it helps them feel more connected to them.

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