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Are online communities real communities?

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  • 15-11-2016 10:39pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭


    Hey guys, doing an assignment and would love your opinion. Any information about your online community experience would be extremely helpful. I am interested in what you think but even a "yes" or "no" would suffice. Thanks in advance.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,236 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    Hey guys, doing an assignment...
    MOD: You should be cautioned that doing homework assignment posts in most boards.ie forums may result in infractions or bans. In the spirit of experimentation and inquiry I'm going to allow your post, and the posts of other students in the in Anthropology, Sociology & Culture forum.
    Any information about your online community experience would be extremely helpful. I am interested in what you think but even a "yes" or "no" would suffice.

    For a few years I've worked on research teams that exhibit a "community of practice" organisation with many of our interactions and research project contributions having been made online from home or in alternative and virtual work environments like a coffee shop with wifi access. Our work was project-driven, not 8-5 clocked, and typically staged in parts to complete which were passed-on to the next team member in line.

    For more information on such communities of practice, see Etienne Wenger (2011), Communities of practice: A brief introduction, University of Oregon.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,308 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Hey guys, doing an assignment and would love your opinion. Any information about your online community experience would be extremely helpful. I am interested in what you think but even a "yes" or "no" would suffice. Thanks in advance.

    For further reading on this check out Howard Rheingold's Virtual Community (He has an online copy on his website linked below) which outlines his view regarding the benefits of online interaction among people in virtual networks.

    For the other side of the coin, check out Mitch Parcell (2008) who believes Web 2.0 has allowed for a more insular online community that is less open to new ideas and fosters a polarising of attitudes and prejudices.

    These texts will give you a good insight into the dynamics of online interactions.


    Rheingold, H. (2000). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. London: MIT Press - Online Copy Here

    Parsell, M. (2008). Pernicious virtual communities: Identity, polarisation and the Web 2.0. Ethics and Information Technology. Volume 10 Number 1. pp. 41–56.


  • Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭Disposable1


    This is fantastic thanks. That Parsell book looks really interesting.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,236 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    This is fantastic thanks. That Parsell book looks really interesting.
    Glad someone could help. Our policy for the Anthropology, Sociology & Culture forum has changed. If you have university classroom assignment, project, or related questions, you can ask them here. Let your student friends know too. They can register boards.ie for free and join the questions and answers here.


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