Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On Community

At the Northern Voice conference last weekend in Vancouver, Stephen Downes offered this theory of community.

A Theory of Community
a system defined by three major components:
  1. a means of organizing input and experience
  2. a mechanism for putting that experience into context,
  3. a means of creation, of becoming part of someone else's experience

The idea here is that community is defined by the relations between its members, not some inherent property or quality – defined semantically, not syntactically

I like this. It helps explain how a random group of bloggers is not a community, but a group like ours is. Granted Downes has this in a blogging context, but he really is talking about communities in general.

See The New PR Wiki for a whole raft of Northern Voice resources.

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