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What is an Online Community? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Tom, interesting write up. I think your second last paragraph on ‘residency’ is interesting, specifically relating to #chat2lrn. For 1 hour every two weeks a group of people come together share ideas, thoughts, opinions, questions and answer (I am sure we do a lot more than that too). But what happens outside of that hour – people are still tweeting with the # tag of chat2lrn – but have our attitudes changes, do we response, retweet, react, follow all of the #chat2lrn tweets outside of that hour? I have sent many tweets using the #chat2lrn outside of our 1 hour every second Thursday and have never received a reaction!! Is this where the idea of #chat2lrn being a community breaks down?

    Anyway, good read and good interacting with you.

    • I do think that’s part of what’s going on. Twitter chats form (as Julian Stodd said) emergent communities that collaborate on a product for the hour and then disband. That’s not to say they’re no longer interested, but we go back to our lives and jobs, shut down the tools we were using to follow the hashtag for that brief moment in history. We’re no longer “resident” in the community, so we’re not commonly following posts any more. Twitter used to allow unlimited tweet searches, so in “the good old days” we would return the following week and tweets sent since the last chat would all be there for us to enjoy. That search is now limited to 48 hours (I believe), so that no longer happens.

      Many of us in those chats are also connected through our networks on Twitter, and many of us are first-hand connections. We continue to engage as always, but the nature and manner of that engagement is different. If you want to interact, use networking strategies (@ individuals, develop followers) and not community conversation strategies.

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