Predicting attachment to online communities
Australia and New Zealand Marketing Association
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Existing research indicates that the demographic and psychographic characteristics ( user characteristics) of consumers impact significantly on their consumption behaviours (Hawkins et al., 2002; Wellman et al., 2001), motivations (Papacharissi and Rubin, 2000; Mesch, 2001) and level of attachment to their physical communities (Wellman et al., 2001). However, there is paucity within the literature concerning the impact of the user characteristics on online behaviours. This paper investigates how the user characteristics of individuals, who use the Internet for social interaction purposes (social Internet users), influences their use of the Internet and specifically their attachment to online communities such as discussion boards, chat rooms multi player games and multi user dungeons (MUD's). This research identifies several user characteristics which impact on online community attachment and suggests that certain user characteristics may pre-dispose users to becoming attached to online communities.