Christopher Lueg (in print).
Information Dissemination in Virtual Communities as Challenge to Real World Companies
Proceedings of I3E 2001 the First IFIP Conference on E-Commerce, E-Business, and E-Government, 3-5 October 2001, Zurich, Switzerland, in print.

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The event of the Internet and its web-related services in particular has enabled business-related online communities (also referred to as communities of commerce) that are centered around companies and their web sites. Creating and nurturing such online communities is expected to be a key element in gaining and sustaining customer loyalty in the age of 'empowered fruit flies'. However, apart from such explicitly business-friendly communities, the Internet has also enabled a variety of business-independent online communities which may disseminate at the speed of light information about companies, their products, their bright sides, and their dark spots. The effectiveness of information sharing observed in a particular online community indicates that the Internet has enabled a variety of novel ways to affect companies, their reputations, and their businesses. A look at the relevant literature suggests that traditional security management is not yet prepared to cope with these new challenges.

revised 27 June 2001