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Wide Open MySpaces

I never thought of myself as belonging to an online community because I do not belong to MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, or any other SNS (social network site). I had heard of, but until this assignment, I had not visited a SNS. But as I thought about online communities I realized that I do now belong to an online community and have for many years. I certainly now belong to the online community of Rhet 3401. Other online communities I have belonged too are the communities of people I have ever exchanged e-mail with or chatted with online. The contexts of these communities have been family, friends (real life friends that is), and business associates.

The online communities I’ve listed and that I have experienced function as an additional means of communication. These online communities, as well as SNS’s, differ from physical communities in that the individuals are usually separated by both space and time. I do not think that online communities are replacing physical communities in our lives, rather, I think that they supplement our lives by giving us yet another medium to communicate our thoughts and ideas in “complex, interwoven, and personalized communities? (Nancy K. Baym, Interpreting Soap Operas and Creating Community: Inside an Electronic Fan Culture, p. 119).

I think that some of the elements Baym observed still exist today in all of the online communities. An example of this is the short-hand idiom used in online communications, such as, ‘r u hungry 2’ (Baym, p. 107). I also think that Danah Boyd is correct in her assertion as was Jenny Sundén in that “in order to exist online, we must write ourselves into being? (Jenny Sundén, Material Virtualities: Approaching Online TextualEmbodiment, 2003). If we do not write, we do not exist because our thoughts through words have no way to make it into cyberspace.

Comments

I have the same thoughts that you had on Baym's reading in that his observations do exist today especially talking about short hand communication. I still use is today when I e-mail someone or text people. I always use What R U doing, or the many other variations of short hand.

I also don't use SNS's a lot. I do however belong to Facebook, however I really don't chat a lot online or really get into the whole SNS network. I just know that face to face communication is a lot better, however sometimes that can be hard these days with everyones busy schedules and also if you move or something or have friends in different states or different parts of the world. You should try checking into getting on face book or just taking some time to look at the other SNS they can be pretty fun

That quote about writing ourselves into existence really gets at the heart of this week's topic. Whether it be from a social-community standpoint, or a discussion-forum with its continuous stream of conversation, our ability to gain status and become recognized [or merely exist at all] we must be willing to exert time, energy, and thought into our electronic existence; or choose not to.

That quote about writing ourselves into existence really gets at the heart of this week's topic. Whether it be from a social-community standpoint, or a discussion-forum with its continuous stream of conversation, our ability to gain status and become recognized [or merely exist at all] we must be willing to exert time, energy, and thought into our electronic existence; or choose not to.