Blogs as Virtual Communities: Identifying a Sense of Community
It is interesting that some researchers have found that participation in virtual communities can increase participation in real life. I think that this would depend a lot on what kind of virtual communities one is participating in. For example, from personal experience games like World of Warcraft in my opinion definitely decrease the amount of participation in real life. I spent hours on the computer when I could have been hanging out with family or friends. Althought I don’t regret my time on World of Warcraft (the summer before college) I am glad that it only lasted for a summer.
I think that it would be difficult to define blogs as virtual communities. I would say that claiming that weblogs are like communities is like claiming that a newspaper is a community. It is a form of communication through participation, but I don’t think you can define it as a community.
I think that it kind of goes without saying that blogs online will form norms. I think that most forms of communication in the form of participation form rules or norms. For example Facebook has many rules written and unwritten. No pornographic material, is one example that Facebook makes quite clear is not allowed on their site. Another unwritten rule is that one must post photos. I don’t think I have encountered one Facebook account without any photos at all. I did not find this article that interesting because it seemed obvious to me. I don’t think I have ever come across a form of participation that did not have norms.
I have never even thought about the internet as being gendered in terms of its content in any way. I never think about whether or not an article or blog has been written by a female or male, and certainly would not value one over the other. Yet I can see how it might be feared that the internet will become a copy of our own hierarchical society since it has been produced by it. At the same time I think the fact that young people are the main supporters and users of the internet will change it for the better.
If I were to maintain a weblog I would make it like a journal of my life, but I would make it password protected so only those I wanted could read it. The blog I just couldn’t stop reading was about the waiter, because of the author’s description of different people. It is so vivid and animated. I loved it. The blog I think other people should read is “Dooce,” especially mothers because it must be scary to be a mother and I bet this would help.