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Building Web-based Communities

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  • John D. Smith
    A couple of weeks ago Nancy White mentioned on the onlinefacilitation eGroup that she d just gotten her copy of Amy Jo Kim s Community Building on the Web:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2000
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      A couple of weeks ago Nancy White mentioned on the onlinefacilitation eGroup
      that she'd just gotten her copy of Amy Jo Kim's Community Building on the
      Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities. (Berkeley, Calif.:
      Peachpit Press, 2000) Paperback - 380 pages 1 edition (April 6, 2000) ISBN:

      I've been reading it and find it to be very interesting and I recommend it

      From the Amazon.com "topics covered":

      >> Strategies for designing Web sites around the needs of particular groups
      of people, attracting those people to your site, and motivating them to
      return frequently. Community identification, member profiling, community
      leadership, and organization (of information, time, and relationships) all
      receive ample coverage.

      There's an Web site for promoting the book at:

      The book ties to our current discussion about intervention and whether too
      much facilitation makes communities "trumped up" or not. The premise of the
      book is that online communities are built by "others". Even if a Web site
      and community for moms is built by a team of people that INCLUDES moms, they
      are at work building a web site, not mothering. (Mothering certainly
      qualifies as an extended, complex and learned practice, by the way.) I've
      been reading Amy Jo Kim pretty carefully and even though the communities
      that she's talking about are purely online and are mostly commercial
      enterprises, I think they are genuine communities of practice and it
      behooves us to look at the process she proposes as a full and valid example
      of community building pure and simple. They do seem problematic in the
      degree to which they are "managed" from the outside. Is that truly a

      OK, so I've been tut-tutted for using the word "community" too loosely here.
      The word does seem huge. Am I abusing it?


      --* John D. Smith | 503.963.8229 | 2025 SE Elliott Ave., Portland OR
      --* Can-U-add-2 http://www.teleport.com/~smithjd/lern/PDX_talk.html?
      --* A leader is best when people barely know he exists -- Lao-Tzu
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