Virtual communities are a new phenomena
When I write this I write it to my imagined community out there. I'm not, as some posts might suggest, anonymous. I know that my posts will have repercussions. In some ways I'm actually more careful about what I put out on the net than I am in ordinary face-to-face conversations, because I know that anyone can be listening, and I know that it can have repercussions for(ever) a long time.
One component is not only shared interests, but a similar approach to experiencing those interest. Another is likely a shared base of general information. A third is probably related to those bugaboo issues of education and occupation. And a forth is no doubt related to members being willing to adopt mythic roles, such as wise-woman, shaman, warrior chief, princess, peace maker, etc. If these characters are not present, no community will achieve stability, neither virtual or 'real'. And there is at least one more componet that may be most critical of all; a courtly respect for the other members of the community, that no one violates.
It's been pleasant to see everyone checking in over the last few days. The kind of casual chat that has occurred is pleasant to me but not something I have experienced much in other lists. I am afraid I might be bad at it.
Like you, Eileen, I have been ousted from a list. Mine was less dramatic. It was a list of psychologists and MSWs who decided they didn't want anyone on the list without those degrees. I had only posted twice on the list and both posts were well received so the expulsion was not really aimed at me personally, but it stung anyway.
I think my emotional reactions to events on this list have been of the same type as those recently described by everyone else, though I suspect others may be feeling those feelings more deeply. I am still enamoured of the subject, rather than the group itself. Time takes time.
This is one of those gems that makes me such a happy lurker ... Now I realise why I reckon myself a (silent) member of The Community.
I wonder whether a single list, or group of any sort, can survive without some basic community of belief. I can respect and learn from Mormons, but I cannot be one, and am always therefore separate from their community. When Stephen uses the phrase "minds in a meatsuit," or others speak of subjectivity and objectivity, thereby dividing the mental and physical into two different realms, I realize that we are so far apart in our underlying view of basic experience that the most we can realistically expect is a courteous tolerance of each other. We can cooperate and communicate, but probably not commune.I am eager to see how this problem plays itself out in this list.
Online communities are what we make them.
you cannot force a "community".
But community is good, paranoia is bad. Surely you can have one without the other?
Is it really possible to have community without geographical boundaries and what will that do to the communities we are actually living in?
of what practical use is a cybercommunity
Every F2F community to which I belong, whether it be at work or around the neighborhood, is constantly engaging other groups with other interests as part of the socio-economic activity that makes a city a city. Listserv groups not only cannot engage in activities with F2F groups but do not even interact much with other cyber groups. Nevertheless, my loyalty to some of these electronic groups is as strong or stronger than my loyalty to certain F2F groups that can actually make a difference somewhere. Why?
One function of a cybercommunity is as a place for marginalised notions, groups, individuals.
Our neighborhood, love it leave it <g> My own view is we've built a aethetically sin-ugly neighborhood* but allowed for a free flow of architecture and each with a house of their own. The American dream? ;-)
A free flow of information does favor democratic ideals. However, the net also permits people to congregate in small, effectively closed, interest-specific groups. Access to these groups can be made contingent on education, vocation or even social position. Totalitarian regimes may be absent, but miniature oligarchies are legion. Thus, the Nazi transvestite astrologer has a support group no matter where he or she lives. Whether the net will serve as a mechanism to truly test ideas in a democratic forum or end up being a way for the social and political groups created in real life to keep track of their own members remains to be seen.
Cultivating the desire to be a sociological group - what we're really talking about here is culture, no? Cultivation - to the promote the development of growth (of ideas customs, skills, arts, information . . . ).Culture - the ideas, customs, skills arts, information of a people or group, that are transferred, communicated or passed along.
I would dare to suggest that anyone who does not give a close hearing (reading) to everyone in a group is willfully witholding participation. And to blame this personal "choice" on the other person or the group is to project something of their (your) own on the other.
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