May 16th, 2024

What defines online communities?

🕵️‍♂️ I've been online for more than 25 years, so I have participated in various types of digital communities, such as mailing lists, newsgroups, forums, Telegram/WhatsApp groups, and so on.

After thinking about it for a while, I realised that all these communities could be defined by some common characteristics:

  1. People: it's not hard to guess that a group of tech enthusiasts is different from a group of graphic designers.
  2. Time: participating in a forum at the end of the 90's was different than Today. For example, users back then were so proud of their anonymity, whereas now we are used to sharing our personal information more easily than before.
  3. Rules / guidelines of the community: each group has its own set of rules that must be accepted in order to avoid toxic behaviour.
  4. Technology: mailing lists were so slow, while Today's chat groups are so fast that you risk losing out on content you may be interested in.