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RE: [cp] "communities of practice" F2F vs online

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  • Charles Terrence Harper
    Very true, Steve. I keep reading in various articles that structures such as Second Life, Digg and even Ebay are web communities. For academic purposes, we
    Message 1 of 74 , Mar 11, 2007
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      Very true, Steve. I keep reading in various articles that structures such
      as Second Life, Digg and even Ebay are web communities. For academic
      purposes, we feel the need to have to try to quantify what community means.
      I think that this is like the Emperor and his clothes. If most of the
      people in a supposed community do not know each other well enough to get a
      cup of coffee (or as you said."it doesn't feel like a community"), you may
      not have a community, but just a wiki.



      From: com-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:com-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Steve Denning
      Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 12:33 PM
      To: com-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [cp] "communities of practice" F2F vs online

      Fred writes: "F2F and online interactions are different and probably
      result in communities with different characteristics."

      It depends in part on what you mean by a community. If you mean a
      group of people who trust each other enough to speak frankly, and
      share a common responsibility for the good of the group, then my
      question would be whether you can ever create the level of trust of a
      real community unless there's some face to face meeting at some
      point. Without that level of trust, what you have is a kind of
      network that occasionally has some sharing and insights, but you
      don't the kind of openness and mutual caring and shared
      responsibility for the group that you get with a community.

      Do the 518 members of com-prac form a community? It doesn't feel like
      one to me. When I met some of the members last year, I certain felt
      closer to them. And when I had a teleconference with some of the
      members, that also helped. But when I think about all the 518 members
      of com-prac, I don't feel I know enough about them to think of them
      as a community. Am I mistaken?

      Steve Denning

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • l_r_i
      The short answer is that WE,
      Message 74 of 74 , Apr 19, 2007
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        <<One of the most pressing issues on my mind is the one Steve raises
        re: who is the person that unifies the various identities.>>

        The short answer is that WE, each of us, does not unify our
        identities. We present them to the world and other people unify them
        for us. We are left from situation to situation trying to figure out
        how they've done it, hence our comfort with old friends.

        Years ago, when conceptions of the "social" still influenced social
        psychology, the issues of multiple identities was dealt with in terms
        of personality and character. Eriving Goffman's "Presentation of Self
        in Everyday Life" and "Frame Analysis" are obvious choices for this
        kind of discussion. C. Wright Mills and Hans Gerth's "Character and
        Social Structure" (1953) also comes to mind. But, I like the summary
        of the issue offered in Jane Morgan, Christopher O'Neill, and Rom
        Harre's "Nicknames: Their Origins and Social Consequences" (1979).

        They note,

        "The front we present to particular people on particular kinds of
        occasions is our personality for them. Character, on the other hand,
        is our reputation in the minds of others, particularly with respect
        to what one might call our moral qualities, such as integrity,
        slipperiness, reliability, propensity to gossip or intrique. If our
        personality appears on the surface of our actions and in the
        expressive mode, our character is supposed to be a summary of the
        deepest and most stable features of our permanent inner selves. But
        it is gleaned from the experiences other people have of us, in social
        and other contacts, and is modified and transmuted in their gossip
        about us and their commentary upon our affairs. Attributions of
        character, then, are based upon much that appears as personality, but
        involve interpretation and moral assessment. Personality is shown,
        but character has to be read (p. 4)."

        That quote sums up as well as I ever could why I persist in my claim
        that trust between persons occurs faster in face to face encounters.

        Larry Irons
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