Crowd Wise 5c: Why do people join e-communities?

An ant can carry a leaf
but a colony of ants can carry an elephant.
African proverb

From the dawn of time, or better said, from the dawns of civilization we divvied ourselves up and created tribes.  We roamed in groups across vast plains, colonized nations overseas and settled down in towns only to then construct cities.  We joined football clubs and today we join e-communities.

But why?

What is this driving force, this need which makes us want to team together - aren't we all innately selfish beings with the primary concerns of home, food, shelter and our own genetic prolongation?

Why do some of us lead and others choose to do a Ruth, to make other people our people, other traditions our traditions?   Why do we protect, admonish, support, love, help, reject, compete with, collaborate with, fight with, laugh with...

people that we do not even know?

Share with me your thoughts, musings or opinions on this issue.


This posting is part of a series, Crowd Wise, and is, in part, preparation for the swap-shop on web based communities at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate, April 8th, 2010.  Your answers, as brief or as in-depth as you'd like to be, is very much appreciated!  To subscribe to all the posts within this specific series, copy and paste this url:  into your reader.  

Note: if you would like to participate in this conversation anonymously, please do feel free to do so.  Alternatively, if you would like to specifically mention an online educational community when making reference to your experiences, adding your group's name and/or its URL, you are most welcome to!

2 Responses to “Crowd Wise 5c: Why do people join e-communities?”

  • Neil Barker says:
    March 11, 2010

    I think it has something to do with being a part of a group and shared culture. Seems like real-life has become increasingly compartmented and online communities are the modern version of the town square. Although, now we have far greater choice of the groups we wish to socialize with.

    The ability to share information and get different perspective and ideas is what keeps me engaged in online communities.

  • Tara Benwell says:
    March 12, 2010

    We had a special reason for building an e-community to go along with EC. We wanted the club to be more interactive. The learners and teachers seemed to want more than forums. We started by offering blogs, but when we saw the Ning platform it just made so much more sense to offer members more. It's hard to imagine the club without its social partner now. I think a lot of e-communities like ours have evolved from previous online forums.


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