full paper at CSCW 2008 conference
Research on social network sites has examined how people integrate offline and online life, but with a particular emphasis on their use by friendship groups. We extend earlier work by examining a case in which offline ties are non-existent, but online ties strong. Our case is a study of bodybuilders, who explore their passion with like-minded offline 'strangers' in tightly integrated online communities. We show that the integration of offline and online life supports passion-centric activities, such as bodybuilding.