A community, according to The Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, is “a number of persons having common ties or interests and living in the same locality.” Apart from the local sense of community, a person can form a community with his or her co-workers, classmates or even a group of people with common interests. This unity is formed due to the subjects that link all of them together – those who work together, study together and have the same common interests. The size of these types of communities pale in comparison to the ones established online. Online communities include chat rooms, instant messenger services and discussion boards (also known as forums). What sets these forms of communication apart from e-mail is that users are free to interact in real time, where the communication occurs without any type of delay. What makes these online communities a lot more appealing, than the ones that are set in the “real world”, is the anonymity that the internet offers. Thanks to the anonymity, users are able to community without restraint in forums where they can be entertained, educated and most importantly find a sense of belonging.
Online communities work well for several key reasons, the first being that it isn’t necessarily discriminatory due to its level of anonymity. Another reason is that it is more accessible for person with handicaps, such as the wheelchair bound or the hearing impaired. Distance is also important; instead of going across town to discuss the latest book of the month, readers with access to the web can meet online much more easily and more often. Another reason why online communities may be working so well is because people may feel less intimidated sinc...
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...n. “Word of a Free Concert, Next to an Oft-Sold Bridge, Spreads Quickly.” The New York Times. 2004. 23 Nov. 2004.
Prabhupada, A.C. Bhakitvedanta Swami. Bhagavad-Gita: As It Is. Los Angeles: Bhakitvedanta Book Trust, 1972.
Various Authors. DAFF – The Dark Angel Fan Fiction Archive. The Archivists 2000. 23
Various Authors. Fan Forum – The O.C. Jelsoft Enterprises, 1998-2004. 23 Nov. 2004.
Various Authors. Interference.com – U2 Feedback (U2 Fans, ‘Zine and More). Jelsoft Enterprises, 2000, 2001. 23 Nov. 2004.
Weinberger, David. Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web. Cambridge: Perseus Publishing, 2003. 95-97.
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