Jake at Community Guy writes about community:

People often think that blogs, forums, wikis, and other tools are community. In actuality, those tools are just that – tools. They can help you to build community, but they aren’t actually “community”. When we talk community, we’re simply talking about an interaction, a connection. Blogs or forums are a way to initiate and sustain that interaction.

He defines community as:

A group of people who form relationships over time by interacting regularly around shared experiences, which are of interest to all of them for varying individual reasons.

Great definition. I agree that blogs, wikis and forums are tools. But I’m not sure if I agree with the qualification that it’s about relationships developed over time. For example, I write a blog post that generates discussion: readers make comments on both my post and on other readers’ comments. I’ve formed a community, but it will only last a day… 2 days if we’re lucky.

I see community as a group of people who come together and interact based on a shared interest. But that community may not result in relationships, and it may dissolve in a day. Or an hour. The interesting thing about the web is that is facilitates dynamic engagements; there’s an ebb and flow of connections that form, dissipate and reform into new configurations.

So let’s form a community around this idea of community. What do you think about all this?

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