We now see the Internet engaging people in evermore interactive ways. It is even closer to the ideas expressed in The Cluetrain Manifesto half a decade ago (Searls, D. and Weinberger, D. 2000. Markets Are Conversations. In C. Locke, R. Levine, D. Searls and D. Weinberger, The Cluetrain Manifesto (pp. 73-112). Great Britain: Biddles Ltd. www.cluetrain.com).
In their study The End of Attraction: Why People Stop Visiting Company Online Communities. Tuula Mittilä1 and Maria Mäntymäki (http://www.ebrc.fi/kuvat/25-37_05.pdf) juxtapose the more normal customer relationship management with its online counterpart.
They offer evidence that relationship marketing with online communities differs in two ways from the traditional relationship marketing. Both the medium, i.e. an online community, and the relations vary from the traditional ones. Since online communities enable dialogue between the customer and the supplier as well as among customers the development of online communities has brought a new tool for implementing relationship marketing. Because of the development of the Internet ... interaction has enhanced dramatically. People with similar interests and lifestyles may interact around the clock and the globe. Word-of-mouth has a new scale while customers’ exchange views on goods, services and suppliers. As a consequence of that a customer's power grows as well.