CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: WHERE MIGHT IT ALL LEAD?
The last part of this book tries to further outline some of the issues discussed previously by going into more depth. Particularly, here we are interested in finding out more about how regulatory, economic, cultural, and ethical issues may influence the further evolution and development of CMC and of the Internet in particular. Chapter 7 focuses on marketing and e-commerce issues. It uses stakeholder theory to present a framework for better understanding various facets of interaction between Internet user groups such as the firm offering information on its Web site and the site visitor. Discussing socialization, cognitive and situational factors, various issues of concern to Internet users are outlined while a framework for better understanding Web and Internet behavior is presented. The latter is used as a basis for outlining some of the research questions that need to be addressed to increase our understanding about this new medium of communication for noncommercial and commercial purposes.
Chapter 8 is the conclusion of this book. It tries to summarize some of the issues outlined earlier and also introduces a schemata for better understanding virtual communities. In particular, it points out that virtual communities may have some distinct disadvantages compared to social communities. Moreover, the chapter outlines where government and business as well as not-for-profit organizations may face some challenges in the near future if they intend to take the best advantage of new technology.