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Subject: Re: Definition of community
From: Alvin Chin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 19 Sep 2006 13:17:11 -0400
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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Hi,

I'm not speaking on behalf of the SNA community here, but here is my
take on community.

Howard Rheingold has a good definition of virtual community (in that
of virtual electronic environments).  I quote that here:

"social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry
on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human
feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace"  (From
Rheingold, H. The virtual community: Homesteading on the electronic
frontier. Addison-Wesley, Toronto, Canada)

I've done some research into community in blogging environments and
I've looked into the definition of community in this case.  One of the
things from physical and virtual community literature that I have seen
is the concept of sense of community as a definition for community.
Sense of community is defined as:

Members of a community experience a "sense of community" (SOC) in
which there is a "feeling that members [of a group] have of belonging,
a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a
shared faith the members' needs will be met through their commitment
to be together"  (From McMillan, D. W. and Chavis, D. M. Sense of
community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology,
Vol. 14, No. 1 (1986), 6-23).

I have some more references on community as part of my paper on
finding communities in blogs that I can point you to.  It's at
http://www.imedia.mie.utoronto.ca/~achin/Publications/ht03-chin.pdf.

Hope that helps.

Alvin



On 9/19/06, David Duling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> Hi.  I am buliding a presentation for a conference next month and I need to define "community" in terms of a group of individuals who collaborate or interact over time and distance.  I'd like to cite a definition from the SNA community.  Can someone point to a definition of community?  How about some metrics that define membership or community strength.  Thanks,
> David Duling
> SAS R&D
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
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>

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