Talk:Virtual community

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Untitled[edit] appears to be a dead link

About (with a little LiveJournal thrown in)[edit]

Not quite sure what to do with this. It may be the first web-based chat room of some kind (can some third party verify this?), but being first doesn't necessarily make it landmark. Noteworthy, yes. Landmark, possibly. Benchmark, no. I didn't quibble with LiveJournal being put there because I wasn't interested in getting into the semantics of there being no real functional difference between it and Blogger--with Blogger being better known, backed by an industry giant, with a widely proliferated API that is viewed as a de facto standard. LiveJournal at least has an interesting grassroots quality to it like a MySpace, but notice MySpace isn't up there either. Blogger has all the requisite components of an online community, with at least as many as LJ if not more features. If the question is asked if something like a Bianca belongs beside an eBay, Slashdot and Geocities in terms of impact/influence--we're talking about archetypes here, not just notoriety--most reasonable people with knowledge of the topic would say no. And if the claim is only that it has the first web-based chat client, that really doesn't even qualify it as WWW entry nor is it anywhere near large enough to drop into the chat-based categories. Thanks. -- Dx 20:52, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Example list[edit]

What are the criteria for inclusion in the Examples section? Does the scary warning "Do not add HTML links...speedy deletion" refer to Wiki articles about virtual communities? Flopzee 17:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Also: I'd like to make a subsection called "Support groups" since there are a few Wiki articles about online support groups that fit the V.C. definition. Particularly, I'm thinking of Psycho-Babble_(virtual_community). Flopzee 17:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

RE: My suggestion would be to start a list on this page of "exemplar" sites and the purpose they serve. Community/Medical Support Groups are heavily cited in the VC literature, and would be a legitimate group to receive mention. Right now the article doesn't have a natural place for a discussion on different domains of use for VCs. IMO, that should be considered. -- Dx 19:05, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

RE: Merging Community Site article into this one[edit]

see also Talk:Community site Courtland 16:43, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
Why not? I read the other article and it really does not add much to the conversation. If you take a couple of those links (that should be ported) summarize the commentary and drop the rest, that should be sufficient for a merge and redirect. If Perfecto is not interested in doing all of the heavy lifting, I can take a shot at rehabbing the entry once the merge is completed (since I was planning on proposing a new information structure anyway). -- Dx 1628/24/11/05

Art Community Criterion[edit]

What are the objective criteria to decide whether or not an Art Community should be permitted to be listed? -- Epiphyte 17:50pm, 14 May 06

I own an art community website, and I was wondering if it could be added under Additional virtual community listings > Art communities. I don't want people thinking I'm spamming. There are 1100+ members. I hope I fit the criteria for being listed, whenever it is that you decide what the criteria are. BogusRed 02:37, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Virtual Community Sociopolitical Structure[edit]

Why is there no mention of the sociopolitical structure of virtual communities in this article? Is it irrelevant to members or potential members of online communities regarding how much say they have in the development of their communities? Just because the communities are not "real" does that mean that totalitarian power structures are of no consequence? How many democratic virtual communities are there? -- Epiphyte 17:50pm, 14 May 06

I think you make a very interesting point. Many postal based virtual communities historically allowed people to overcome barriers to communication with like minded people on a variety of political and societal issues. The term virtual community includes not online Internet-based media, but also other mass media such as newspapers, where individuals often debate with each other through letters pages for instance --Jonathan Bishop (talk) 18:12, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Rethinking the online community listings[edit]

I tucked the Habitat into the "other" category to remind myself to revisit this topic later (nevermind, I dropped the edit to link The Habitat (video game) because it currently isn't a good fit in the article). It might be more instructive to have the listings broken down by technology type and also to differentiate between classic/landmark communities (such as the Habitat, WELL, and Wikipedia) and other exemplar sites. Any thoughts? -- Dx 1227/21/11/05

I added a new category for benchmark/landmark sites for two reasons: 1) So that people unfamiliar with VCs get a sense for the breadth of implementations and 2) As a thumbnail sketch of key examples to include when the article gets revised -- Dx 18:45, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

AlwaysOn Zaibatzu[edit]

I removed AlwaysOn Zaibatzu from the list of communities here. The site seemed extremely obscure (so much so that it has no Wikipedia article and an external link was supplied in the text.) Thus, it bore little relevance in an article of general interest. Online communities number in the tens of thousands and to point out each one would be folly. - Chardish 05:11, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What is the criteria for being included as a virtual community expert? Nancy White August 23, 2005

RE: Merging Community Site article into this one[edit]

I think that the Community Site article doesn't add any new concept to the global discussion about the term Virtual Community. Furthermore, we identify Internet communities as Virtual Communities, and not as "Community Site".

A bounty has been placed on this page[edit]

I've added a bounty on this page...$20USD to the Foundation if this article is improved to the point that it is a Featured Article before the due date. Please don't prove me wrong about the Wikipedia community :^) --Kickstart70·Talk 22:15, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Fantabulous. Lets get started on the to do list. SiDNEy 21:08, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm interested. We got the main Community article from a stubby disjointed mess up to GA status in a mere fortnight, with the help of the WP:1.0 crew. I'm willing to collaborate on an effort to redo this article, as it is high on the list at WP:CBTF. • CQ 20:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

To do list[edit]

  1. Put numbers on citations for what they reffer to.SiDNEy 21:08, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  2. Spin-off the lists into their own list articles, then link back to them on the article --AbsolutDan (talk) 02:17, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Main Community article[edit]

The main Community article is being refactored and will likely have a section that deals with this topic and will link to here. • CQ 20:08, 13 July 2006 (UTC) • WP:CBTF

Web 2.0?[edit]

The paragraph in the Overview section about Web 2.0 makes no sense. I couldn't see when that got added in the history, but I think it ought to either be cleaned up severely or just removed. --Ted Mielczarek 12:31, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Virtual Community Pioneers and Experts[edit]

This section seems to be the continual target of what appears to be vanity edits for or by Vanessa DiMauro.

I would like to add one. He's a new Virtual Community Pioneer named Jay Drayer. Thanks, Klostermankl (talk) 03:06, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Dear Mr/Ms Klostermankl: What is the case for Mr Drayer's notability or pioneering nature. I see he founded "Careflash", but there are now thousands of virtual communities. My sense is that Wikipedia generally frowns on organizational self-promotion. Thanks for your interest. Bellagio99 (talk) 14:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I'm not self-promoting. Although CareFlash isn't a very well-known community, mostly because it applies to a smaller percentage of the population. I believe it is still notable. That's fine though if you choose not to post it. I appreciate your response and effort in keeping some integrity of info that's on Wiki. Klostermankl (talk) 00:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Why does this article need a list of pioneers and experts in the first place ? Relevant people should naturally appear in the body of the article, there are categories for the rest. Arbitrary lists are not helpful. Getting rid of it. Equendil Talk 07:08, 18 September 2008 (UTC)


This very important article is ready for a overhaul in my not-so-humble opinion. I rewote the head and add the notes section for citing sources. I took out {{Community}} for now and removed that something awful picture. Sorry. I just think there are some better pictures to use on this article. Lets work together on this thing and bring this puppy up to standards, as in featured article. Wouldn't that be nice? CQ 18:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Merging material on Motivations for contributing to online communities[edit]

Following discussion it was agreed to merge the former article "Motivations for contrbuting to online communites" with the Virtual community article. The text of the former article has been incorporated into this article and a redirect created. I am doing the same with the text of the former article's talk page (below). Sunray 22:11, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Articles for deletion This article was nominated for deletion on 19/3/2006. The result of the discussion was keep.

I nominate: wikipedia

Renominate for deletion in a few months unless ...[edit]

On the AFD page for this article, several people said that this article book report was a good start but needs more work. I suggest that if no substantive improvements have happened to this article book report in a few months, this article should go through AFD again, referencing the fact that it hasn't improved and is still just a book report. Nova SS 02:29, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I added a cleanup template to indicate this position. MaxVeers 14:56, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Just a thought... Are there any failed online communities? And two examples of successful ones (including our own Wikipedia!) hardly makes for good examples. Besides, the example includes somewhat of an adulating tone to it, no? I personally feel this topic has a lot of potential to it, and now that it is linked from the Wikipedians page, it could expect more traffic too. Alveolate 06:20, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Hey folks, take another look, this is a valid article! It has been added to considerably since the AfD. It now lists several noted virtual communities and some key references. it still needs work, but I think it has promise. Sunray 21:17, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

it is a good article because i have never thought about the keywords that the article's title gives. it helps to find some more interesting materials. without it i could not know how to narrow my search in "how to create a successful community" while building my website. in the worest case it is good as keywords ideas. shimon_d 14:17, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

if you know some hypnosis and copyrighting skils after reading this article you would know what to radiate to your website visitors. "send content You get trust here .. " "join us and Build Reputation online..."

Proposed deletion tag[edit]

Someone put a proposed deletion tag on this article, citing "original research." Perhaps we could clarify what constitutes original research. Here's the definition from the policy:

Articles may not contain any previously unpublished theories, data, statements, concepts, arguments, or ideas; or any new analysis or synthesis of published data, statements, concepts, arguments, or ideas that serves to advance a position.

Since the article has abundant citations from published sources, it is highly unlikely that it is original research. To be so, it would have to provide analysis that goes beyond those sources. Does it do this? Not as far as I can see. It is a valid encyclopedia article pure and simple. Moreover, I would argue that it is an important article, given the increase in research in this field. I'm not saying that the article is perfect, or even great. There's lots of room for improvement. However, it is a valid article.

There are some statements in the article that do not have citations. If folks have concerns about such statements, they have only to add the {{fact}} tag which adds [citation needed] to the sentence or paragraph in question. Can we agree on this? Sunray 07:06, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Being well referenced does not make something encyclopedic. For example, we don't have Wikipedia entries for every article published in Science or Nature. The content may not be original research by the Wikipedia article author, but they're original research by someone. The question is whether or not the findings are notable. --Alan Au 20:24, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Interesting, but...[edit]

Not every page of valid points is "encyclopedic," and I think that includes this page. It'd seem to me that it survives deletion attempts because it's very interesting to the class that includes active Wikipedia contributors, but it wouldn't survive more broad review. Sadly, that's the catch-22 of the situation, and so it stays. While I don't agree with the "thought police" comment elsewhere on this page, this does expose a failing/weakness of the Wikipedia system -- it's not a general encyclopedia, but rather and encyclopedia of the world seen through the eyes of people really into noodling around on the internet. 07:08, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand your point. You say that "not every page of valid points is 'encyclopedic'" and that you think that includes this page—that it only survives because it is of interest to those noodling around the web. However you don't make a clear argument as to why it is unencyclopedic. Care to do that now? Sunray 05:20, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

What about the compromise presented by the merger with the article "virtual community," which this article could or maybe even should be a subset of? It would feel more logical, no? Online Community (phrased in the wikipedia as 'virtual community,' but whatever) is the title where people would normally look for something like this, and rightly so. By merging, the information remains intact, and it may spur even more work on this and all the rest of the Virtual Community article. Organizational streamlining, if you will -- simplify the hunt. 16:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I suppose that could work, and I agree with your point that more people would likely read this information if it were in some way incorporated into the "Virtual community" article. However, this article is currently much longer than the "Virtual community" article which would make it a very long section in that article. Before we go down the merger road, I would still like someone to explain why this article is "unencyclopedic."
Another option would be to include this topic in a short summary in the "Virtual community" article and provide a link to this as the main article on that topic. Sunray 06:25, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
It simply doesn't stand well on its own. It wouldn't sit right to have a link from an article on real estate to "Reasons for purchasing real estate," because its simply a descriptive subset of the primary topic. You bring up the point that it's as long as or longer than the article of which it's a subset, and I think that's on the right track, because it's a reason to 1. consolidate and eliminate redundant information in the two articles, and 2. improve the main article to include sufficient information on other aspects of virtual communities to correct this condition. It can't be the case that there's a not much to say about virtual communities, but that there is much more to say about the motivations for contributing to them. And if this article is to stand on its own as such, what other aspects of virtual communities should also have separate articles? 00:12, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
It looks like there is a rough consensus to merge this article with Virtual community. I will proceed with that by incorporating the content into the "Virtual community" and getting this page and the article page to redirect to the other article. Sunray 21:42, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Why Jones?[edit]

I'm puzzled by the long (and somewhat ungrammatical) quotation of Jones. It isn't research-based, it is highly speculative, and the data suggest that it is wrong. Bellagio99 12:28, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Merger of Social Network Service with Virtual Community?[edit]

Oppose Both Social Network Service and Virtual Community" are articles that need help -- especially protection from link spam -- but they are not identical. There are many more kinds of virtual communities than social network services, and SNS such as Facebook are evolving into more than virtual communities. Bellagio99 (talk) 22:06, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Explaining rollback of recent edit[edit]

To my mind, VC Hunter, a new editor, overdid the deletions on Virtual Community by deleting large chunks of the article in favor of a "more contemporary feel". Moreover, his additions are filled with specialized post-modern talk. I suggest that a better approach to improve the article would be for VC Hunter (or other editors) basically keep what is there and add their own material, although in a language that is more comprehensible to general readers. Bellagio99 (talk) 13:41, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

To my mind Bellagio99 you need to refer to WP:COI and WP:OWN as perhaps unknowingly VC Hunter removed some of your edits where you cite yourself. MultimediaGuru (talk) 19:41, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear Multimedia Guru, I reverted for substantive reasons. I believe we need a historical section. A number of people were cited there. Please refrain from personal attacks. Bellagio99 (talk) 19:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Merge with web community[edit]

Yes--Wouldn't be much of a merger, really. Seems like it would pretty much just mean deleting/redicrecting Web community. But anyway, I'm for it. Cretog8 (talk) 03:41, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Here's what I said when I fixed up the web community article: "This should be merged with online community, which should be separate from virtual community (which needs a ton of cleanup itself), but all of that is too big a project for me to contemplate." Online/web community is its a major subtopic of virtual community with its own characteristics and history, and it isn't well-covered in this article right now. Dreamyshade (talk) 03:52, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I think Dreamyshade is right. Online community should be separated from virtual community. A virtual community is a distributed community that exists to establish, exercise and evolve its members' similar goals, plans, values, beliefs and interests. An online community is a virtual community that is accessible via electronic means, where its participants establish a presence through taking part in membership rituals. The article on virtual community should talk about the issues to do with the nature of community and individuals, whether community can exist across frontiers without geographical constraints. The online community page should deal with the technical aspects of existing online, such as the different types of online community (e.g. bulletin boards, blogs, etc) and should take it for granted that it is possible to exist virtually as is the case with information science perspectives on the subject, without reference to the debates in the social science arena about whether it is possible to exist beyond geographical boundaries. --Jonathan Bishop (talk) 21:07, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Strongly disagree on the merger. I agree that the article is a lame stub, but I disagree that it should be merged into virtual community. The two are fundamentally different:

(a) virtual community is about interpersonal relationships online. Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community (rev ed, 2000) is an exemplary discussion, although the concept was around earlier. Typically, it is studied through ethnographic observation or survey research.

(b) A web community (as the definition says here) is about inter-web page relationships, a fundamentally different thing. (The pages might be corporate for example.) Duncan Watts and Lazlo Barabasi's (separate) research are the exemplary discussions here. Typically it is studied through bots discovering linkages and structure in the web.
Bellagio99 (talk) 13:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Creation of a separate page: Online participation[edit]

I have move the content related to motivation to participate to a new page: Online participation. This will be useful to the understanding of the subject that is relatively elaborated, and deserves a page of its own. It will also be helpfull for facilitating the linking to other concepts such as social motivation, e-participation, etc. I hope this is all right for you --Nabeth (talk) 18:31, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Good edit! I reworded the online participation section a bit to fix the grammar and try to make it flow better but it just kind of looks awkward in the context of the rest of the article. I added the online participation link to the see also section at the bottom. Should we just delete the online participation section alltogether and leave it as a link in the see also section, since the online participation link doesn't really say much anymore? Bubblesort (talk) 13:05, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Separating out 'virtual community' from 'online community'[edit]

I used to use the terms 'virtual community' and 'online community' synonymously as this article does. These days I define virtual community as 'A distributed community that exists to establish, exercise and evolve its members’ similar goals, plans, values, beliefs and interests' and online community as 'A virtual community that is accessible via electronic means, where its participants establish a presence through taking part in membership rituals'. I also define 'web-based community' as 'An online community that is accessible via the World-wide-Web'

These encompass both the early works into whether communities can exist in non-geographically constrained contexts, such as that carried out by sociologists such as Barry Wellman. The online community definition brings in the work of HCI experts such Jenny Preece and Amy Jo Kim. The definition of web-based community is based on the technical work by Cliff Figallo.

I propose that we demerge the articles, so there is a more theoretical and sociological article on virtual communities and a separate article on online communities from a more HCI perspective with a subsection on web-based communities looking at web-based genres such as weblogs and wikis. This article is getting a bit overcrowded so I think now is the time to do it.

--Jonathan Bishop (talk) 11:52, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I transferred the online community content to Online community a couple of weeks ago and there seems to have been a few peaceful edits to it. I've now edited this article to remove duplicate content. I think User:Bellagio99 shouldn't be too displeased at this, as the new article asserts his distinction of social networking services being virtual communities that contain online communities. Also, the work of Barry Wellman and Howard Rheingold that he respects so much is prominent in the article. --Jonathan Bishop (talk) 18:04, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Instant messaging groups[edit]

I believe the article is missing a section on IM groups on Skype that would go between boards/forums and chat rooms. Other than public chat rooms, Skype groups are trusted communities of people, such as a support group, who have been invited into the group from a website or organisation, such as Parkins(on)line (virtual support groups). With Skype becoming fast a standard in communication as common as email, people can connect easily, and at no extra cost. Groups are open 24/7, private and confidential, and can be created and maintained by a single administrator. Would the original author of Virtual communitiy want me to add a section? --GoneWalkabout (talk) 08:00, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Edit for Virtual Community Page[edit]

Hello there, I am a Masters of Information Student at the University of Toronto and am proposing some editing for the page. As indicated, the page is not entirely written in an Encylopedic style. In addition to this, some citations need to be added or at least amended for purposes of clarity and in order to update any outdated material. Also, the health community section seems to be written as an opinion piece without much in the way of citation.Judedmstewart (talk) 18:25, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a Virtual Community?[edit]

Is Wikipedia a virtual community? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:38, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, Wikipedia is a community. --Joshua Issac (talk) 12:29, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Offline virtual communities[edit]

The article makes a distinction between virtual and online communities. Virtual community#Introduction notes that virtual communities also include communities whose members interact with each other via letters, in addition to online communities. However, most of the article then deals with the subject as though online communities are the only virtual communities. I suggest moving most of the content that only applies to online communities to the article on that subject, and keeping at this article only information that is relevant to virtual communities in general, except in sections that address particular types of virtual community; for example, a section for online communities, and another for letter-based communities. --Joshua Issac (talk) 12:27, 3 June 2014 (UTC)