I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Thoughts on community (Part Two-Virtual)

Now that I am blogging that now involves me in a particular realm of cyber-community. I can't help thinking how many communities there are, and wondering what makes a community a community.

Being a new mom, I sometimes read a working moms bulletin board. I find it interesting to see what other women are worried about, and occasionally post to answer a question, but I personally do not feel connected to a "community" there. In fact one of the things that is interesting to me is the fact that there is so much diversity--women who want to be working, women who have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet but would rather be home, women in unstable relationships and those happily married. Despite these differences, it is clear from the posts that many of the women do feel it is community and the board is a place of safe refuge--a home even, as per my last post.

But I wonder is it one community of "working moms" or in fact many communities with overlapping memberships? And in fact is this the reality of any "community" made up of more than a handful of people?


Nancy White said...

Alexandra, I enjoyed diving into your blog (via Dina) and especially your posts on community, a topic near and dear to my heart. I'm currently co-working on a report on technologies for communities of practice and one of the issues that we've had on the table, raised by our fearless leader Etienne Wenger, is the implications of multimembership. How do we manage "belonging" to all these "communties" from a personal and technological perspectives.

Since I have started blogging, this question has ballooned. I was not sure about connecting the world blog and community but it is there.

Keep on blogging!

Alex said...

Hi Nancy-
I will be very interested in your report! I wonder if the management of communities is different from the personal and technological perspectives...do we have technologies that allow us to mimic the personal, or do our personal interactions start to change because of assisting technologies?