Membership in (work-related) virtual communities


Share of persons in paid work who are active members in virtual communities which are (at least partly) related to their work.

Unit of observation

Total population in paid work

Reporting unit

Total population in paid work


Survey question (adapted from Ofcom): “Have you used the Internet in the reference period for visiting sites where you can discuss work-related topics online?
[IF SO] Have you, when using these sites, discussed with people you have not met before?”

Complementary indicators

  • Membership in leisure related virtual communities

Relation to existing indicators

A similar indicator was piloted by UK regulator Ofcom for a survey on communication behaviour.

Methodological issues concerning application of the indicator

Virtual communities are conceptualised as follows: A virtual community is a group of people who communicate exclusively or mainly via the Internet on specific topics which are of interest to them. For data collection, a simplified operationalisation needs to be used.
Because of the ad-hoc nature of many virtual communities, it needs to be explored whether the indicator can produce valid data.