I think again, in the case of online, there are both sides to how you see it. While there are many communities online that are helpful to the idea of community, there are as just as many hurtful ones. I remember hearing a while back that there are online groups that help each other be skinnier in terms of being anorexic. Those communities hurt the idea and image of online community. Along with those negative communities, there are a high number of trolls online that hurt the collaboration of online communities. I don’t see trolls as a hinderance however, just that it adds something funny to community.
There are many communities however, that aren’t hurtful. From certain video game forums, to movie and television show forums, there are communities for just about everything. While I don’t comment on ESPN articles, I read almost every comment because I find the community ESPN has to be very funny.
On an ESPN article stating Anthony Bennet will be sidelined for three weeks:
I truly believe that online communities are helpful to the idea and image of communities. Today, there is so much more collaboration online than off. With offline communities, there is a limit to the audience and people in your community. Online, the community can extend further than an offline community could ever extend.
The connections we make online using digital technology is actually pretty funny, if you think about it. I’ve been working for mlb.com the past few weeks and we communicate to other departments in the office by email, instant message, and other online communication. When I first started training, my supervisor told me how people only know people in other departments by their online name. He told me a story that during a Christmas party, he finally met the guy that he talked to online almost every day in person at the party.
With that said I think community can exist online. If you just break it down, it is just a group of people with a shared interest or belief. While an offline community is the first to have come, an offline community provides what an offline community can not.