Skip to content

Describing “community”

Nancy White has compiled a list of definitions/descriptions of “community”. Many of the definitions center on the notion of shared interest, connections, communication, and collaboration. I agree with the general tone presented. It’s difficult, however, to precisely detail the concept of “community”. The tools we use shape ideas and contexts in which we use them. For example – due to technology, collaboration used to mean something quite different from what it does today. Different inputs (decentralized, distributed across cultures) and different processes (asynchronous for reflective thought, synchronous for real-time connections of geographically dispersed team members) have reframed what it means to collaborate. The concept of community is experiencing a similar transformation (see Wellman’s exploration (.pdf) of the redefinition of community as a result of technological influences).