Communities and Social Media

Interactivity on Professional Virtual Communities Such As LinkedIn and Artstation Aggregates New International Communication Standards


Social media interactions sets new communication standards. This paper is written with the intention to provide an argument in support of the idea that the use of virtual communities to be a crucial step that aggregates the accepted societal communications standards on the internet. Though with a certain degree of inequality between its users, this process ultimately elevates the global standard of communication.  The argument will be made by comparing the features of two social networking platforms against Buhrmann’s list of benefits of virtual communities from his paper Virtual Communities: Implication for Companies(2003). The definition of the word ‘Benefit’ that is used will be of ‘favorable or advantageous; resulting in good.’ As per the definition of the word according to Oxford Languages(2021).  The two social networking sites, Artstation and LinkedIn, are chosen for their intended purpose of professional work exposure, job sharing and professional community exploration capabilities. Artstation is an online portfolio platform for showcasing the work of visual artists, and LinkedIn is a professional profile social networking site. This paper aims to prove that all Interactions taking place on the mediated social media platforms bring about opportunities for mutual learning of cultures by all parties involved which eventually results in an acceptable global communication standard as actions become regulated and normalized. The study of culture in virtual communities continues to be an essential process for societal growth as the number of global internet users continue to increase.


The early decades of the  21st century marked the ubiquity of personalized mobile devices and services that they come with, such as social networks. This feature of personalization makes infiltration into the daily life of the general public very easy and effective. So much so that it proves Kenneth Gergen’s theory that morality is being reshaped by innovation and technology in the way that our continuous exposure to varying degrees of acceptability of interactions is setting new communication standards. To appreciate this substantial transformation we have to grow beyond the assertion of value on face to face meetings where at times there might be none. Gergen also contends that physical presence as a requirement will continually dissolve as innovation continuous to be ubiquitous (Gergen, 1991).

The exponential growth of technology has open up the possibility for the normalization of technologies at a global scale, that for businesses to gain competitive advantage, it has become necessary for them to keep up with the growth and incorporate digital capabilities and mobile technologies in their operations (Lansiti & Lakhani, 2014). An example of this change can be seen in the pizza company Domino, who utilizes analytics on their online services to better meet customer expectations in regards to the services they offer (Lansiti & Lakhani, 2014). While Google Analytics collect information about site visitors to identify patterns of behaviour of their users (Weigel, 2011). The information taken is used to customize their service to better provide comfort for their users. Whatever method is adopted by modern businesses, it has become adamantly clear that technology has taken centre stage in business operations. However this growth did not come out of the blue. The digital transformation is a “connectivity and recombination”(Weigel, 2011), rather than a disruption.

The crucial point of focus in the advent of virtual communities is that they are facilitated by highly customizable technology (Delanty, 2018) that it implants itself snuggly in the users’ daily social interactions as supplementation to their reach. Because of this impactful change, it is to be expected that  ideas, culture and communication styles occur within the virtual communities to be regulated and normalized.While the first social network emerged in 1997, studies to see how virtual communities change people’s lives have only been conducted for nearly two decades (Bieber et al., 2002; Bruckman, 2002; Burnett, 2002). However as many focus on the infrastructure that allows the delivery of the technology and the offline changes brought upon by their arrival, not many focus on the direct social changes that occur from the growth of the importance of virtual communities in society(Samur, 2019). Out of the growing adoption of social media and the spread of the technology responsible for their availability, real world communities start to extend their influences online (Ross, 2018). What happens on social media sets precedent to the accepted offline communication standards.

In Jay T Stock’s paper “Are humans still evolving” (2008) he contemplates the underlying adaptive as well as the biological mechanisms controlling the diversity of mankind. It is commonly claimed by the mainstream media as well as the popular writings of prominent academics that biological evolution is no longer a relevant occurrence in humans due to our dependency on tools, technology and culture for our survival (Ward, 2001; Dyson, 2007). With culture being the central determiner of this dialog for the immediacy of its influence on the individuals character and actions, its formation cannot take place without the existence of a community to preserve, share and uphold their ideals that drive the evolution. Social media encourages interaction to happen with technology right in the middle of it as a facilitator of guidelines, according to the features that the technology brings with it.

It became a problem for some as this trend does not have the cleanest record in its effect on the public, with the existence of the dark web. Technology supplements social interactions only as much as their features would allow. Therefor it is crucial that regulation and improvement are constantly performed to best reflect the qualities of communication we feel are constructive and less of that which are destructive. Some might argue that with the diversity of people of different backgrounds accessing social media, the tools have come to supplement even their most basic survival necessity such as employment, which may not be the healthiest dependency to nurture.

Kathryn Hayes and Henry Silke touched upon this issue in their article “The Networked Freelancer?” (2018), stating that due to the increasing trend of atypical employment, there has been an increase of 67% in the number of freelance journalists in the UK alone from the year 2000 to 2015. Delanty(2018) states that there are three identifiable social forms of technology: the tool,  utopian and cultural model. The stated models fit the progression of the utilization of social network. The very first social networking site was created as a tool to simply setup an online profile page which connects with other profiles and send messages within networks (Samur, 2018). Over the years a line up of social networking sites come to exist to fulfil specific purposes, such as LinkedIn for searching for work and connect with people professionally in 2002, Facebook in 2004 to connect with distant relatives and friends, in 2010 the gallery-like Instagram was created for sharing photos with commenting and socializing as its secondary feature, in 2012 Tinder was released for the purposes of casual dating among other things.

Suffice to say, the ubiquity of online services for the range of basic purposes help the emergence of global digital cultures around them(Delanty,2018). People’s various needs drive businesses to expand their services to cater to the expansive global market forming on these platforms. Just like the formation of villages and towns in the real world around a source of a commodity which grows to sustain itself as the town grows, the availability of services and the regulation of communities come from the to and fro of cultural exchange between users of different nationals, particularly through the supplementation of daily social interaction.

General Benefits of Virtual Communities On LinkedIn and Artstation for Professionals

            According to Buhrmann in his paper “Virtual Communities: Implications for Companies” (2003), there are some benefits of virtual communities in the professional context, which are all present in both Artstation and LinkedIn.

On both sites, the absence of geographical physical limitations is shown in the fact that workers of all nations are able to compare resources with people of the same fields from different parts of the world. This help users improve their skillset and job network to compete and match the competition. This activity leads to the next item on Buhrmann’s list, which is the breakdown of communication barriers. As users mingle, and are exposed to the accepted professional standard of presentation of user’s resume, communication etiquette through the sharing of articles, podcasts and community peers, they start to see their mutual interests and disinterests, and are then able to adjust to the most acceptable community guideline.

For some then, cost barriers are broken down but for others unfortunately it provides a glimpse into the sad reality that some nations are much more capable in supporting their industry economically. It may not be entirely useful for workers coming from countries with lesser educational standard in art related entertainment field, due to their lesser abilities to fulfil higher grade demands of work. However for people coming these countries, this provides good earning opportunities – International distribution of work on the platform allows workers with less contact opportunities to get their foot in the door and earn the same salary as workers of different nationals. In this case competitive advantage therefor is rather relative. If a worker from Indonesia is able to produce a quality of work worthy of distribution in the USA, then the worker would have a competitive advantage in that they spend less on their capital to earn the same amount as people coming from the US, and are therefore able to then pull themselves up toward the standard.

On both sites, studios, clients and art workers congregate as a community to pursue employment opportunities and increase their production capabilities. The standard of quality is therefore continuously checked against the requirements of those from whom demands are generated. This allows for Buhrmann’s next item of the ability for sharing knowledge. Both sites use the same process of communication through DM, and optionally email. The continuation of this processs over time exposes workers to Internationally accepted qualifications, and improves the community by competition of display of achievement and standard of excellence.

The process of improvement, however, is not without its drawback. Toxic behaviour such as racism and bullying within online communities are still prevalent, though their origins can be pinpointed to mostly be offline. In this case there has to be more studies conducted to conclusively determine that virtual communities do not add any substantial cultural improvement.

The Primary Difference Between Artstation and LinkedIn

Due to the demand for showcasing results of cutting edge technology, Artstation may not be entirely useful for workers coming from countries with lesser educational standard and capital investment in art related entertainment fields. This is because of their lesser abilities to fulfil higher grade demands of work quality. Their hurdle would be to keep up with the work capital demands set by the community to stay up to date with the latest technologies. i.e. in some places powerful(thus much more expensive) computers may be needed for their daily work. For this purpose, LinkedIn is certainly able to provide a more stable platform for displaying their professional capabilities.


Delanty mentions that the internet open the possibility of new kinds of interactions that transcends the traditional understanding of what constitutes a community through perpetual global connectivity (Delanty, 2018). With the diminishing significance of physical and geographical proximity in socializing, physical communities will dilute according to the factors that shape their existence. Residential locality will no longer be the defining factor in the formation of a community(Delanty, 2018). All of a sudden a person living in the deepest jungles of the world(i.e. the author of this paper) is able to keep up to date with what unhappy situation Taylor Swift finds herself in through Twitter, and sends his best via a quick mention of @taylorswift13, a publicly available handle owned by the subject of the community, that the Taylor Swift community exercises their activities around. This is because one aim of the virtual community is the sharing of information with a more general social function, where individuals could interact with an already established community or group, enhanced by the presence of opportunities of establishing relations where otherwise physical boundaries such as distance and security measures may get in the way(Delanty, 2018). With the role technology plays in sharing information, there is no doubt that negative behaviors that we tend to overlook in our physical communities are also brought to light, and hopefully then regulated. This connectivity was unthinkable in the previous decades when social interactions were simply limited to their immediate locality. The elimination of distances make digital social network “the most social forms of technology ever deviced” (Delanty, 2018). Thus it becomes the biggest determiner of how societal norms are shaped.


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4 thoughts on “Interactivity on Professional Virtual Communities Such As LinkedIn and Artstation Aggregates New International Communication Standards

  1. Hi Roosdy!

    I was intrigued with your topic as I came to realize not many papers were discussing LinkedIn as a revolutionary platform that changes the process of job employment and job seeking. I also personally enjoy reading your paper as it was clear, precise, and straight to the point. Making reading so much easier.

    Here is my question to you. With LinkedIn being a platform for most employers and employees to communicate in the job-seeking industry, what do you reckon to be the most influential reasons why people started to use this “once a confusing” platform?


  2. Hi Roosdy,

    I was intrigued by the topic of your conference paper even though I didn’t fully understand what it really meant until I read your paper. After reading through your paper a couple of times I have come to agree with your overall point that communication via new technologies especially through social media platforms and apps such as LinkedIn and Artstation have revamped the standards of communication within society in general but particularly within business communities. Most businesses nowadays use these new technologies every day in varying aspects across all business models from looking for new employees (LinkedIn), creating their own websites, their own twitter and facebook accounts, customer discussion groups for feedback, etc.. Another great point you make is that social media technologies have been used to create global communities giving users across the world the chance to join various groups that are of interest to them to discuss subjects that are important and meaningful to them with people with similar interests.
    We are living in extraordinary times where we can keep in touch in real time with almost anyone anywhere in the world. Communications have come a long way in a very short time and your paper illustrates this point very well.
    Thanks Roosdy for an interesting read.


    1. Hi Bernie,
      I appreciate the kind comment! In terms of work distribution, communication, outsourcing t’s exciting to know that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment.

      Buhrmann touched on the immediate changes further in his paper “Virtual communities: implications for companies”, which you can find here:

      But also as it currently stands, third world countries are already suffering from the consequences of over consuming of tech and not being able to upskill their population enough, that they mostly rely on tourism and service work to be able to sustain their economy. It really makes me wonder what skills and qualifications are going to go extinct in the coming decades in different countries and how technology would be able to help the people affected.

      I hope you have a great day!

      1. Hi Roosdy,

        I just wanted to thank you for the link to Buhrmann’s paper and again congratulate you on a great paper.


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