Communities, networks and what sits in between

Last month in Rome Robin Good took me to a park, put me in a funny little bicycle car and we drove around the park recording our conversations. Robin asked me about the differences between communities and networks and this 3 minute recording captures my views. Nice job, Robin! I continue to be focused on the space between communities and networks, thinking that this is the sweet spot for so many things people are trying to do. Maybe you AREN’T looking for a community, eh?

Online Community Building Strategy: Nancy White On Networks, Groups and Technology Choices

19 thoughts on “Communities, networks and what sits in between”

  1. nice clarification thanks.
    There’s some more possibilities here in how communities form in a networked world. Clay Shirkey in Here comes everybody points to how previously people came together and then shared interests, now they share and find their groups of interest because the sites such as flikr or blogs make it so much easier to find people with similar interest no matter how small or how geographically dispersed.

    1. Ailsa, indeed the opportunities for individual connections, group and community formation abound. In fact so much, I sense that the challenges of multi-membership in many groups is starting to be an issue. we used to have information overload. Perhaps some of us have relationship or connection overload?

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  3. It is probably isomorphic, but I tend to look at the bonds between people as a function of strength, time and location. Current tools allow many more weak bonds and the overhead for refreshing these is very low. Some, as you mention, become tighter and those that persist with some intensity are the stuff that makes community (which can be positive, neutral or negative for any of the participants).

    I suspect we have limits for the number and scale of communities we are part of and this is probably differs with people. I tend to think of a core group of collaborators/co-conspirators and friends rather than communities when I think of the most intense relationships I have. At the next level of intensity I tend to think more in terms of communities. Then there is this halo – the people you might nod at on the street if you saw then – who comprise the weaker interactions. And, of course, there are be movement between these groups…

    Nothing deeper than just the mental model I use

  4. My thoughts on Networks vs. Communities (vs. Teams):

    Essentially, networks consist of individuals, who have potential ties with others. Communities consist of loosely connected groups of people, who have weak ties (e.g. common interest) with each other. And teams consist of tightly connected groups of people, who have strong ties (e.g. common objective) with each other.

  5. LOL Nancy – I am working on putting together the next set of online courses for Cog-Edge. I want to incorporate a live portion so I have been checking out Elluminate. It appears to me that this application is a bit quirky so I was/am concerned about how that would be received in the courses. I did a web search on Elluminate gremlins. That search led me to a Goggle Groups about facilitating communities. Your video above was listed as a resource for that group.

    Anyhow, I did learn from what you had to say. I actually feel a bit of relief because I worry about the white, milk, and dark chocolate people getting along with each other. 😉

    Thanks – Laurie Webster

    1. Laurie, I’m using Elluminate quite a bit so if you want to chat about it, let me know!! And as to those white chocolate people, i do my best to stay open minded!

  6. White … dark .. well. I have to take sides I’m afraid.

    btw – the *best* chocolate I’ve had in my life is from a fairly new place in Brooklyn. Mast Brothers Chocolate. Amazing stuff – spendy and worth every penny.

  7. Good lead, Steve. Which reminds me, Ill be in NYC June 10th and can probably play on the 11th and 12th. Have to get back to DC by the evening of the 12th!

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