Virtual communities – a virtual session on virtual conferences
Virtual communities supported by computers and communication facilities have existed for about two decades. Virtual meetings around the world became technically feasible once there was a sufficient number of satellites to relay data communication, and became commonplace at companies that could afford computer-mediated communication (CMC). Today, technological advances, coupled with social changes, mean that virtual communities can be useful to many people. The goal of this session is to demonstrate how virtual communities can be established and kept going using inexpensive technical means. The meeting will be held during a scientific conference on worldwide distributed work, by presenters who have organized and run at least one virtual event. It will itself be a virtual event, with contributions from Philadelphia in the west to Hong Kong in the east and South Africa in the south. The physical auditorium will be present in Berchtesgaden, a small town in the south of Germany; virtual participants may be anywhere.