Building Web-based Communities
- 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 groupsof 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