Three Metaphors And A Community

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Virtual community presentation for the MSc in e-Learning.

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  • I really enjoyed this Tony. I found the anatomy-cartography-archaeology metaphors rich and each deserving of an assignment in itself. Like Nicola, I would also defend the idea that a social site *can* embody community, though it does not necessarily imply it.

    One point I particularly wanted to raise, was to do with the suggestion here that dissent among bloggers implies that they are not a community. I'd argue against this - it seems to me that community doesn't necessarily imply harmony. On the contrary, surely it is partly the ability to negotiate dissent and disagreement among members which distinguishes community from other forms of social grouping? I don't agree with, or even like, everyone who lives in my tenement stair, but that doesn't mean that we don't constitute a neighbourhood community.

    Is any community 'homogenous'? Again, surely the inverse is true - isn't it the ability to tolerate/work with heterogeneity which constitutes a group as 'community'?

    Many interesting thoughts prompted by this anyway - thank you!
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  • Tony, I think I would defend the fact that activity around a site can be a community but of course many sites - even social sites - are not necessarily communities just because there are social interactions of some sort.

    The archeology example seems apt after reading various ethnographies where digging deeper has found significantly more complex views onto the community that contradicted expectations and/or statistical information of a given site. I also thought your reflection on the lack of areas of exchange/discussion/overlap in political blogging was interesting - do you think that could reflect the self-interest and parochialism of politics more or is there something unique about blogging that makes it a special case? I wasn't sure what those unique cultural and functional differentiators that might be making a big difference to political blogging.
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Three Metaphors And A Community

  1. 1. Three metaphors and a community exploring the idea of “virtual community”
  2. 2. Greater Surbiton http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/
  3. 3. The blogroll enables me to find easily the blogs I read, but it also shows with whom I feel an affinity, and with whom I wish to associate. I don't necessarily share the views of those on my blogroll, but I wouldn't include any blog whose views I found objectionable, even if they were interesting. Email from Marko Hoare.
  4. 4. I do have an extensive presence on the web. […] Facebook is, for me, primarily a social thing; my Facebook profile is, of course, only readable by 'friends', though a lot of my Facebook friends are kindred spirits of the Eustonite left, and we do sometimes have discussions. Email from Marko Hoare.

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