There is an interesting discussion forming on Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategy Blog about the best way to define community, which started in Twitter as he was formulating the initial ideas resulting in a blog post.
Jeremiah proposes this definition:
An online community is: Where a group of people with similar goals or interests connect and exchange information using web tools.
He also points to a definition originating from Jake McKee:
A community is a group of people who form relationships over time by interacting regularly around shared experiences, which are of interest to all of them for varying individual reasons.
I actually like elements of both, but am not entirely happy with either definition. Jake’s definition highlights a couple of things I see missing from Jeremiah’s definition. Most notably “shared experiences” and “relationships”, which are more important to me than information. All websites have information in some form or another, but a community takes it one step farther than just sharing information.
Dawn’s Definition of Online Community
I would go with something more like this, which really is just Jeremiah’s definition with a few tweaks based on ideas from Jake’s definition:
An online community is: Where a group of people with similar goals or interests share experiences and build relationships using web tools.
What do you think?
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