virtual audiences

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In computer-mediated communication, all those individuals and groups who access the internet and receive (and send) messages using it. This includes the use of email, instant messaging systems, chatrooms, electronic distribution lists, newsgroups, electronic bulletin boards, virtual worlds, and the World Wide Web. Notably different from mass audiences in being driven by shared interests (see also epistemic community; narrowcasting) and in the potential interactivity involved. In relation to interpersonal communication, virtual audiences are also distinguished by their potential anonymity.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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