Large numbers of Internet users hold such strong views about their online communities that they compare the value of their online world to their real-world communities, according to the sixth annual survey of the impact of the Internet conducted by the USC-Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future. Among a broad range of findings about rapidly-evolving methods for online communication, the 2007 Digital Future Project found that 43 percent of Internet users who are members of online communities say that they “feel as strongly” about their virtual community as they do about their realworld communities. “More than a decade after the portals of the Worldwide Web opened to the public, we are now witnessing the true emergence of the Internet as the powerful personal and social phenomenon we knew it would become,” said Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future.
The Center for the Digital Future to learn about the project Surveying the Digital Future and read the report Online World As Important to Internet Users as Real World? (pdf) Previously from WNM: A Second Life; a lot like the first, Cybersociety, Cybersocial problems and The Myth of a Global Village
Update: ‘Second Life’ hits second million in eight weeks from C|Net