Re: communities--virtual and otherwise

Douglas B Hanson (dhanson@WORLD.STD.COM)
Mon, 13 Dec 1993 09:17:53 -0500

>I agree with Doug St. Christian's comment on Virtual Communities, although
>I may not be the most knowledgeable person to speak on this topic--Eve
>Pinsker has lately worked on the idea of community in the context of
>evaluating a variety of health care projects for the Kellogg Foundation,
>and her formulation is far more sophisticated than mine. With this
>caveat, I'll just offer my own experience grappling with the topic.

>Before there was e-mail, people who were part of some community could
>communicate face-to-face, by sending a message with someone else, through
>the mails, over the telephone, etc.. I see no qualitative difference
>between writing a note or memo with cc's at the bottom and sending an
>e-mail note to a NET. The difference is quantitative, although it is a
>big jump in numbers of communicators and the time it takes to get a
>message out to a lot of people.

Yes, but isn't your message moving across cultural and international
boundaries? Posting your message to the NET is much more than quantiative.
This reminds me of the cartoon of two dogs sitting in front of the computer
and one says to the other "The great thing about the INTERNET is that no
one knows you're a dog."

Doug Hanson
Forsyth Dental Center