The concept virtual presence was probably around even before the Internet. Most people using the concept seems to be very technology oriented. They focus on an illusionary presence created in virtual reality systems. The term is related to the older term “telepresence” which is generally discussed in relation to phone, mail and videoconferencing systems.
“Virtual presence can be considered as a special case of telepresence where the remote environment is artificially created (Schloerb, 1995).” (From Andrew Patrick 2002). This view seems somewhat outdated now 10 years later. I would use the term sociovirtual presence. Sociovirtual presence change the focus from technology to persons. The sense of presence is not created by the technology of the Internet but the relations between Internet citizens. Sociovirtual presence is not artificial. It is just an alternative aspect, or perspective, of life. The same life, but a different expression.