What is it about?
Online communities have boundaries. Content is in the group (or its not). People are in the group (or they are not). The challenge is to manage the tension between boundary strength and permeability. By balancing these conflicting aspect of boundaries, successful online communities allow visibility into the community and maintain community distinctiveness -- even in contexts where individual participant can choose on their own to breach the boundary through cross-posting.
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Why is it important?
While much is said about online communities being boundary-less, the reality is that functional boundaries are a critical part of online community functioning. Successful online communities effectively manage the seemingly contradictory aspects of boundaries to support both a distinctive identity and a strong flow of new participants.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Cross-Purposes of Cross-Posting: Boundary Reshaping Behavior in Online Discussion Communities, Information Systems Research, September 2012, INFORMS, DOI: 10.1287/isre.1110.0378.
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