Monthly Archives: January 2011

Control

My dictionary says that control is the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events. Control can be exercised in many different ways and at all sorts of levels in the online world. Control is built … Continue reading

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Stress

In a discussion about stress, my friend Bert Jaap van Oel asked: “How much stress can a community handle before it falls to pieces?” Two forces are already naturally at work in communities against dislocation, by both external and internal … Continue reading

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Participation

Participation is seen as the hallmark of a thriving community. There can be no community without participants and no participants without participation. This statement might sound self-evident, if not trite, but expectations about participation vary greatly and ignoring how we … Continue reading

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Practice, theory and communities

For many people, online communities are a new experience (involvement) requiring the development of additional personal experience (knowledge) as well as new practices (ways of doing things) and possibly suitable theories (explanations that help understand what is happening). Even for … Continue reading

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Theory

Jono Bacon in his book about communities (Bacon 2009), comes down heavily on the side of those who favour practice and action, shying away from theory. In doing so, he sides with the dominant cohort of those who favour action … Continue reading

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Practice

In communities, practice and experience are two of the main stays not only of learning but also of action. Talking of communities, Jono Bacon places much importance on such experience, talking of trying new ideas and concepts and learning from the … Continue reading

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Diversity

Diversity? Amongst other things, the dictionary says of diversity: markedly different from one thing to another. It is this ‘difference’, when it comes to people, that we are interested in when we talk about diversity in communities. Bacon sees diversity as … Continue reading

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Openness

Community: a bounded space It might help here to think of a community as a place on a map. If you look at the map, you’ll see that a town or a village has a boundary around it, not just … Continue reading

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Communities

The following text is work in progress … What’s in the word? So what is a community? The word is used to mean many different things. Wikipedia talks of ninety-four discrete definitions of the word in social sciences in the … Continue reading

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