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Amity
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12 Jun 2015, 4:54 am

I'm relatively new to the concept of an online community, I have an old FB account, but I don't consider it to have been a collective group.

I find these forums offer more of an interpersonal experience which is comfortable, something that was missing from my life when I signed up a year ago. Its the reason I've stayed, I found people that don't shun, then ignore me for saying something odd, or become nasty about awkward interactions, spelling mistakes, general oddities etc.
Its not perfect here, but it is a personal outlet with similar people, and having commonalities compared to differences holds value.

This space has given me an opportunity to just be me as I am, and as someone with an undefined oddness.

So I am wondering, what are the essential components of an online community catering to a marginalised group?



jk1
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12 Jun 2015, 4:59 am

That's exactly how I feel about WP. I don't think I have anything like this anywhere else.

Maybe an understanding attitude?



olympiadis
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12 Jun 2015, 10:39 am

+2



alex
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12 Jun 2015, 11:12 am

it's nice to be able to find others like yourself. I created this site because I felt that need as well.


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eggheadjr
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12 Jun 2015, 12:34 pm

alex wrote:
it's nice to be able to find others like yourself. I created this site because I felt that need as well.


And a big thank-you for doing so Alex. WrongPlanet has been a godsend for me.

:D


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Amity
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12 Jun 2015, 4:52 pm

jk1 wrote:
That's exactly how I feel about WP. I don't think I have anything like this anywhere else.

Maybe an understanding attitude?
olympiadis wrote:
+2
Understanding combined with active tolerance would be great.
alex wrote:
it's nice to be able to find others like yourself. I created this site because I felt that need as well.
I don't remember what age you were when you made the original site Alex, I think you were quite young, but it was a great idea, irrespective of flaws, creating a space where people can find others like themselves has a value that can be beyond measure. You have done a lot of work to achieve that goal, Egghead says it perfectly...
eggheadjr wrote:
And a big thank-you for doing so Alex. WrongPlanet has been a godsend for me.:D

It occurred to me that this site might have an additional value to those from the pre-1994 era and to those who simply were not identified as 'requiring support to function'; a virtual community environment where they can start to understand and become comfortable with who they are, in the company of others that are like them. I can't put a value on that.

I had hoped that someone would be familiar with the structural requirements needed for a functioning community, but there is always Wikipedia, while it doesn't discuss marginalised groups, it does explain a few interesting problems, such as hazing and identifies various barriers to participation and briefly explains the growth cycle. The key seems to be that participation generates more participation.
Quote:
In general, virtual community participation is influenced by how participants view themselves in society as well as norms, both of society and of the online community. Participants also join online communities for friendship and support. In a sense, virtual communities may fill social voids in participants' offline lives.


Another section I found interesting because it refers to trust.
Quote:
Individuals are reserved about contributing to an online community for many reasons including but not limited to a fear of criticism or inaccuracy. Users may withhold information that they don’t believe is particularly interesting, relevant, or truthful. In order to challenge these contribution barriers, producers of these sites are responsible for developing knowledge-based and foundation-based trust among the community.

I think this is close to answering my question about the essential features of a successful online community:
Quote:
The main features in virtual online communities that attracts people is a shared communication environment, relationships formed and nurtured virtually, a sense of belonging to a group, an internal structure of the group, common space shared by people with similar ideas and interests. The three most critical issues are belonging, identity, and interest. For an online community to flourish there needs to be consistent participation, interest, and motivation.

Link



kraftiekortie
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12 Jun 2015, 4:54 pm

We are the anti-Hive Mind Hive Mind!