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MySpace is my space

In answering the first part of the questions, communities function by a group of people interacting and sharing things with one another. So you can say that real life communities and online communities function and work in the same way. Online communities are obviously different from real life face, to face human contact type of communities because you interact differently with them. In online communities you can hide your identity or make it up. Member gain social capital in the community just by interacting with other people, helping them out, and doing favors for others even when you are not asked to do so. In online communities I think it kind of works a little in the same way, just by interacting, talking, and sharing different things with one another like music and things like that.
I do think that virtual communities are replacing physical communities in some of our lives because it's easier to talk with people because you have more time to do so. An example would be if your at work on a break, you can go online and talk, in a physical community you would have to leave your job for the rest of the day, set up a time and place to meet. It's a lot easier to do this online.

When I first experienced online communities it was primarily on AOL chat rooms. I just thought that in writing text and trying to express yourself online is very difficult. Then I started noticing people using smily faces and things of that effect to convey a sense of emotion. A segment in the Baym article really sums this up. "The computer medium seems at first glance to eliminate just these kinds of cues, [a wink, gesture, posture], but given time, participants respond to this deprivation by creating new ways to convey crucial metacommunicative information." (Baym, 111). The article goes on to say the use of the smily face :) and the sad face :(. This example goes to show that my own experiences online line up with the Baym reading and that this element still exists. I really don't use too many other online communities besides facebook. I rarley use that either but Boyds article really was spot on with how we make people our friends and how it's easier just to accept them as friends instead of rejecting them.

I believe that Boyd is correct in her assertions about making friends, adding friends, etc. in her article. "For some participants, only the closest pals are listed while others include acquaintances. Some are willing to accept family members while others won’t even include their spouse so that they can write bulletins to “just my friends.? Saying no to someone can be tricky so some prefer to accept Friendship with someone they barely know rather than going through the socially awkward process of rejecting them." (Boyd, 1). I think that this part of the article really shows you how online communities develop and how we define ourselves as well. Some would say that what makes you and what defines you is the friends that you hang out with. Well what may define you online is the friends you have on myspace or facebook.


The whole use of meta communication online is pretty interesting. For some reason I don't like using the emoticons or the sideways smile. I feel in a way that it's a canned method of expressing one's self. I try to express myself with words I guess. It's kind of a challenge, and I think it takes me longer to craft a message at times. I also don't like using "LOL." I prefer to put "ha ha" at the end of my sentence. I hope it's an acceptable substitute. (ha ha)