Monday, December 28, 2009

A dime for 2S2

I did some blog hopping tonight and ended up on someone's who was an expat here in Korea but moved over to Japan.

He wrote about "Community" and I thought his words to be inspiring.

The term “community” as it relates to the internet, is a marketing term. I doubt it started out that way, but these days it’s designed to create a false sense of closeness to people you will likely never meet in your actual community. And with that sense of false closeness, comes a willingness to financially support the hosts / focal point of that community.

Most of this financial support is done passively. Every click you make on someone’s blog/ message board/ web comic/ etc… is upping the amount of revenue brought in by ad views. It’s so ubiquitous that we ever consider how, each time we go back to argue about the Obama presidency, the owner of the site gets a few coins in their pocket.
 I think that I and others have talked about "community" and it's relationship to K-bloggers. We even are trying to form a conglomerate of sorts to get a better picture. This guy is trying to point out that commenting on people's blogs and following what people type is not really community. Yet he does say:
I’m of the opinion that a community is a function of location, not shared interests.

Instead it is when you talk to the people around you day-to-day, which I agree with. But to distill his words I would also say that to form a community would mean to talk to people outside the typing land. However, I guess he feels it is more about communicating with the everyday person around you, which is fine. But I think community can also mean to reach out to those of familiar backgrounds and create a network of support.

So it reminded me of 2S2 and how the idea of community plays into it. To get people familiar with each other in a certain area, build a network and create a neighborhood that is, well, physical and not virtual.

Anyways just some pennies for thought, which I believe are going "plunk."


  1. I don't agree 100% with that blogger. I have more in common with people who have similar interests, rather than people who happen to live in the same area. Now he may be right that "communities" of common interests may not be the same as locational communities, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to them.

  2. Hi there. Thanks for the mention.

    I won't lie. I've made a number of friends via the web first. But our friendships didn't really kick in until we met in meat space. And we couldn't do that until we lived in proximity to one another. Seoul in this case.

    The only rebuttal to the points made here about having more in common with strangers on the web due to shared interests is, "How are you sure?"

    Granted, the life of an expat in Asia is not something the locals can fully understand... Nor the G.I.s for that matter... but one shared interest or experience doesn't make for community in the sense of the word I feel acceptable.

    That having been said, no doubt I'm in the same boat as those old curmudgeons who got pissy when "Gay" stopped meaning happy and became something else entirely. The flow of language and the tides of culture are impossible to change, and it does look like "community" is going to be forever how people on the web use it.

    But I still think it's the wrong word.

    Thanks for adding to the discussion.


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