Tag Archives: social media

The formation of online communities

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The international community of blogging. Image courtesy of Ricardo Resende, Unsplash.

It’s a funny thing, how fast an online community can form. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they spring up.

I’ve noticed that with the Turkish shows I’ve been watching on YouTube, there is the usual mix of characters in their online communities. There are the explainers: people who offer quick summaries of the shows for the benefit of English-speaking fans, who are grateful that someone has taken the trouble to explain what’s going on. (Other than that, we have to make educated guesses based on characters’ facial expressions and actions.)

There’s the admirers: people who rave about the handsomeness of this actor or the beauty of that actress. Overall, the tone seems pretty respectful (at least with the comments I’ve run through Google Translate).

There’s the debaters. Somebody offers an opinion, and someone else considers it and offers a different viewpoint.

I’m not seeing too many trolls. But I guess whoever moderates that community is keeping a sharp eye on developments.

I’ve been involved in some online communities in the past, and they are great fun to participate in. I used to talk regularly in chats on Twitter, but I’m so busy now that it’s hard to spare the time.

On WordPress, the community comes and goes. I notice that some of my favorite bloggers have put a halt to their blogging for now, while others have stuck around (Servetus, Herba, Marilyn A. and Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge, shout-out to you here). I’ve also acquired some new blogger buddies (hi, y’all) since I started blogging a bit more regularly.

But if those favorite bloggers of mine ever come back, it will be like they never left. To my mind, that’s part of the genius of these online communities. People from all over the U.S. and different parts of the world are chatting with each other, helping each other, sharing things with each other, and pointing each other toward resources.

It’s a heartwarming thing to see. It’s a form of international communication — and connection — to our fellow human beings. Whether we’re in Istanbul or Iowa, Perth or Paris, Berlin or Buenos Aires, Seoul or Seattle — we shouldn’t lose that communication, empathy and interest in each other.

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