"I am interested in how the technology of virtual communities affects interpersonal relationships, communication, and businesses. Virtual communities provide entertainment and increased access to information and to communication with others. However, I also see virtual communities developing which deny access to different groups of people because of economic or other reasons. While virtual communities may increase communication channels, they also alter the way in which people communicate. I am interested in the effects that virtual communities have on language when people relate to each other. How do people handle miscommunications in a virtual setting? Does the lack of gestures and facial cues affect communication and understanding? I am also interested in exploring the types of relationships which can be developed in avirtual setting. Is it possible to trust people in a virtual environment? Is trust necessary? Will physical interpersonal skillschange because of this technology? What impact do virtual communitites or communication have on businesses?

I am sure that I will add other issues to this list as I read more about the subject."

This document was created and is maintained by the Virtual Communities group in Howard Besser's ILS 604 class (Winter 1996).