Advances in computer and telecommunications technologies during the past several decades, have facilitated the creation of virtual communities and organizations throughout the world. As the growth in virtual communities accelerates, researchers are facing new challenges to learn about the latest of research and practices in this fast growing filed.The Encyclopedia of Virtual Communities and Technologies provides the most inclusive coverage of the concepts and realities in the field of virtual communities and technologies. This encyclopedia's entries have been authored by over 140 leading researchers from more than 25 countries, presenting an in-depth analysis of the conceptual and technical impacts of virtual environments in our global village. A compendium of over 830 terms and more than 2,250 references to published works on virtual communities are also included. This encyclopedia also offers coverage of upcoming and emerging technologies for virtual communities, human computer interfaces, new networking, mobile computing, Web services, and synchronous and asynchronous environments.