Virtual Communities as a Communication Instrument for Infomediaries: Typologies and Properties
From Virtual Communities
Thomas Schoberth and Armin Heinzl, Universität Bayreuth
Virtual Communities provide effective means for client communication and retention. The role of Virtual Communities has been steadily increasing during the past five years. This paper explores how Virtual Communities may be utilized as an effective platform for organizations which act as infomediaries between various group of actors. Using the example of the SdK, a non-profit organization which advocates the interests of small investors in Germany, four different typologies will be developed in order to explore how this interest group can best fulfil its role as an infomediary. For each typology, the specific advantages and disadvantages will be discussed, yielding a specific diffusion path for Virtual Communities in similar settings.