JOMC 391.1. Making and Living in Online Communities
News has always had a relationship to community, but with the advent of
the Internet, specialized and diverse communities of discussion and
reaction to the news have developed. No news site on the Internet is
without a community/discussion/feedback section.
But how are successful communities created, nurtured and developed?
In this seminar, we will look at the WELL (as seen by Rheingold and
Hefner and members of the WELL) and other successful communities.
We will look at various definitions of communities, online and off.
We will investigate community-building software and interfaces and the
irrelationship to their projects' success or failure.
We will have visiting speakers from the community news area -- both
physical and virtual.
We will also look at successful communities that deliver reliable
products-- free software -- and see what rewards are offered to
participants and what punishments, if any, to free riders and trolls.
Along the way, we will inspect the notions of reputation capital, news
franchise, and the importance of niche-communities (as served by
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