The advances within technology has seen the rise of online virtual communities.
The internet has allowed the breakdown of social and cultural barriers - linking people in an enviornment where geographical location and distance are no constraint in the communication process. Online communities emerge out of user interest rather than by other socio-economic factors in the traditional environment such as: age, income, race etc.
The online world/community allows users to emerse themselves in a variety of different social contexts, allowing them to take with them knowledge and information that would not otherwise be possible.
In the traditional physical sense, society's have a number of norms and social rules that are put in place, which is followed through to guide user behaviour in an online forum.