An awesome comment showing the power of online community

In yesterday’s post Internet re-organising around people I finished by saying:

I think that people are turning to the web for a sense of identity and community.  Social networks and review sites are providing spaces for self expression and collective opinion formation.  These are basic human needs that used to be served in traditional communities but which are difficult in big cities and commuter towns.

In an awesome comment mspoke wrote:

A great post, really. My comment is mainly regarding your idea of how the internet is changing communities. 

It’s funny as I have recently moved into a new community, which is built in an area of regeneration. The people within this new comunity do not communicate with each other, at all, to the point where heads go down as soon as eye contact is about to be made when leaving the car park.

One thing has finally started to bring people together….the internet. A very simple online forum was set-up by one resident to talk about issues of property maintenence mainly. This has spawned into a place where people are organising social meet-ups, buying/selling unwanted goods and general community banter amongst residents, most of whom have still not met each other face-face. Within 3 weeks the site has over 60 members, which is a high-proportion of total residents. It’s not quite a social network in the myspace sense, but not far from it.

Fantastic.  Aside from the compliment, which is always nice, this is what I love about blogging – it’s one big extended conversation with so many people with great experiences.

But more importantly – what an incredible example of how the internet is moving to the centre of the social fabric

The other comments on the original post were great too.  Thanks guys.

A bit light on original Brisbourne content today, my diary is a nightmare, for which apologies.  Back to form tomorrow.

  • Nic

    A parallel thought: the structure of the Internet and human society are similar – both are types of scale free networks – so it is probably no coincidence.

    And re Internet Peeps – where is the Internet going then?

  • Nic

    A parallel thought: the structure of the Internet and human society are similar – both are types of scale free networks – so it is probably no coincidence.

    And re Internet Peeps – where is the Internet going then?

  • The internet is defnitely moving to the centre of the social fabric. I often use iChat video to talk to my 6 year old nephew, he can work a Mac better than me. I was sitting quietly thinking about this recently, he doesn’t know any different than this, me and him chatting on the net is just what people do to him, how families who are not located near to each other communicate with each other, it’s all so normal to him.

  • The internet is defnitely moving to the centre of the social fabric. I often use iChat video to talk to my 6 year old nephew, he can work a Mac better than me. I was sitting quietly thinking about this recently, he doesn’t know any different than this, me and him chatting on the net is just what people do to him, how families who are not located near to each other communicate with each other, it’s all so normal to him.

  • nic

    Hi Alan – re internet peeps – there were thirteen speakers and thirteen different ideas!

    You might say the internet is going up its own wazoo!

  • nic

    Hi Alan – re internet peeps – there were thirteen speakers and thirteen different ideas!

    You might say the internet is going up its own wazoo!

  • Nic…re the ‘Net going up its own wazoo….have you been following the hooha about Flickr and Technorati – they have essentially both changed the rules for their own user communities, and are drawing great ire.

    I have of course added soothing oil to the flames here and here – those posts were fun to write 🙂

    What it means is that I think there is a flipside to your post, i.e. that the internet re-organising around people makes companies running these services far more beholden to those people. This is clearly having some unforseen impacts on their ability to act commercially.

  • Nic…re the ‘Net going up its own wazoo….have you been following the hooha about Flickr and Technorati – they have essentially both changed the rules for their own user communities, and are drawing great ire.

    I have of course added soothing oil to the flames here and here – those posts were fun to write 🙂

    What it means is that I think there is a flipside to your post, i.e. that the internet re-organising around people makes companies running these services far more beholden to those people. This is clearly having some unforseen impacts on their ability to act commercially.

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