This week in class we talked about joining an online group or community. These online communities or groups are where people who have questions can go to find answers from others or where they would like to find people with the same interests. The great thing about these online communities is that they can offer support or advice for those in need. I’ve never really thought about joining an online forum or community, so I’m a little anxious and excited about it.
As I was reading about the Wells online community I learned a few things that I didn’t know about. Like, that people who talk online actually meet in real life, which are called “fleshmeets.” To me that is an amazing thing, these people have connected on such a level and trust each other so much that they are willing to meet up in real life over coffee or lunch. What amazed me even more is that some of these people even went as far as to go to funerals, weddings, and even babysit for other people they have met online. To me, it is amazing the amount of trust someone can have in someone they met online.
In another article I read they say that “The biggest difference between social networks and online communities is that communities form out of groups of people from all different backgrounds and histories.” Which is so true, when you’re online you have no idea who you might be talking to, which I find insane. You could be talking to some old lady from Nebraska, or your neighbor down the street and never even know it.
“There are two things that compel online community members to stick around:
- The urge to contribute to the community
- The perception of benefitting from the community”
To me, that is a strong statement that people are willing to stay in an online community not only because it benefits them but also because they want to help make the online community better as well.
I’m not the type to seek out help from others online or even on my Facebook. I usually am the type to look up the information online and if I can’t find the answers I’m looking for I give up. I’m also the type that will not seek out support or help from others online. I usually tend to keep to myself or talk to people I actually know and see regularly. So, once again, I am finding myself being pushed out of my comfort zone and into situations I normally wouldn’t put myself in. I’m very interested in seeing how this assignment will go.
Photo Credit: Insightrix Communities