It may not seem obvious, but the Internet's higher purpose is to create community. In this section we will explore what community means online, how to create community, how to foster community, and how to earn income through operating a community web site. But first, let's consider what community is.
"Community is a dynamic whole that emerges when a group of people:
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- Participate in common practices.
- Depend on one another.
- Make decisions together.
- Identify themselves as part of something larger than the sum of their individual relationships.
- Commit themselves for the long term to their own, one anothers and the groups' well being."
Community arises when a group of people engage in joint activity. The community is the connections between those people, because naturally when you gather a group of people for a long enough period they will form bonds and connections that transcend whatever the joint activity is. Do not confuse community with the buildings, or in this case web sites, where the community meets. Community is of the people, by the people and for the people.
This is why I say the Internet's higher purpose is to create community. The Internet offers new ways to aid people connecting with one another.