Communities Online

  • “Communities in Cyberspace”
  • The Hong Kongs, New Yorks and Tokyos of the Internet (NYT, 30 October 2007)

The “Communities in Cyberspace” reading reinforces my view that in general the human reactions are similar no matter what technology we are looking. Yes, there are nuances with each one of the applications, but in general we’re still dealing with the same issues of identity, honesty, regulation, quality of communication, etc. One possible explanation is that the technology hasn’t really changed that much (just looks better). For example, Kollock and Smith talk about “usenets” and “newsgroups”, which are not that different than blogs today. But by improving the speed, the range, and controls of online collaborations tools we are seeing a more robust development of these online communities. Though we should not forget, that “online” communities were present in the time of the Telegraph!

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