Re: communities--virtual and otherwise

David Heller (daveh@PANIX.COM)
Sat, 11 Dec 1993 12:09:30 -0500

In talk of virtual communities, we are not (or I should say I'm not)
talking about single one to one email. Other forms of community however
do exist. The IRC (if you want to stay on the internet) is a vast source
of communities, where people meet on a regular sometimes nightly basis,
and begin to depend on one another for support, advice, and commradory.
Also on the usenet, or even on mailing listservs, we are incontact not w/
a single individual, but daly contact w/ 100's of peers/co-interested
people. This sets up some kind of framework for atleast associations, if
not community. But I do feel that the concept of community fits best when
we think of the chatlines on the Well, Delphi, America On-line, and
Compuserv to name a few. Some are accessible via internet, but for the
most part these are closed to those who pay the above for services.
Like I said earlier, it is a virtual community, b/c it is in a medium
which allows for a lack of consequences, and a freedom of speech which are
not available it real communities. Also the phrase is used together,
"virtual community", and not like other terms like the african-american
community where we assume a knowledge of both the "virtual
community" each word shapes the other, and they need to be defined as a unit.

That last part make sense?