One big happy family!

// Posted by on 05/21/2015 (6:43 PM)

This chapter for me was about friends, collegues, and like-minded people sharing ideas.  The people are the same but the location are different.  Instead of a field or a bus the people are meeting and sharing ideas in a virtual community.    From our text, “…individuals could connect to one another without encountering body-based forms of prejudice.  They could come together not in random interactions that characterized life in the material world, but by choice, around shared interests” (159-160).

Exchanging ideas and information what an interesting concept.  The WELL gave the contributors that opportunity.  Turner made this collaboration sound positive and beneficial for everyone that participated.  Is it just me, and it probably is, but it seems so different than online forums today.  There is always someone complaining or making fun of a posting or happening.  There does not seem to be the sense of community or goal towards a common good.  It may also  be, and I am sure it is the places that I visit online.  I would like to make a change and be a part of something positive.  I will share more on that later, probably in class because I am going to need all of y’all to help me!  Online now seems more for entertainment than a place to gain knowledge.  Again, I am sure it is because of the pages that I visit.

I also think it has something to do with my age.  I am more of a talk to someone in person type person to solve problems or share ideas.  Jessie brought up an excellent point Monday night in class.  The tone of an email or post can be misunderstood.   If this happens in person you can explain and you can also read the other person’s expressions.  What made the WELL so successful is that most of the people on there already knew each other.   They were already a part of a community, it just changed location!

It is also important to note what this sense of community and networking led to.  On page 150 of our book, Turner wrote about the differences in the earnings of Silicon Valley and that of the Route 128 area.


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Rosatelli said...

Hi Ginger,

You make two really interesting points that I think are connected: the WELL was, in the beginning, a positive place where people connected; and many of the participants, the users, knew each other outside of the forum. Studies show that we are much kinder to each other online when we have personal relationships offline. This is why Facebook is typically less vitriolic than, say, Reddit. Why is that? Why do some of us feel that it’s okay to harangue people we do not know, but we protect those we do from nasty comments? Here is an interesting story that really points to some of the ethical concerns when it comes to anonymity and message boards:

// 05/21/2015 at 7:56 pm

BonnieG said...

The old days of interconnecting with sound positive and beneficial meaning have changed. The WELL created a place for people, to come together, and discuss new and different ideas, as you stated for the common good. Still even with the use of WELL, people still had to rely on different forms of communications to connect with each other; the use of the internet did not entirely disconnect them from society, like it does now. Today in almost everything we do, we use the Internet; ordering food, buying items, connecting with friends, and family, taking and sending pictures; which has removed us from personal connections with each other. Think about the number of personal interactions that have changed with the use of the internet; banking, making travel plans, education, dating, and searching for a job to name a few. So, I agree with you wholeheartedly, the interconnection community has changed, and not necessarily for the better.

// 05/23/2015 at 1:37 pm

Jessie said...


In your post you indicate that today’s forums seem so different than what Turner wrote about the WELL. A few semesters ago I participated in a social media class where I learned about many of the ways that social media is used similar to the way that Turner describes. Twitter is one of the sites that we spoke about and professional knowledgeable individuals are using the site to post probing research questions and getting feedback from like-minded individuals and are collaborating and sharing knowledge. It was the first time that I had learned about social media being used for more than just meaningless posts about what people were doing or what they had to eat.

// 05/23/2015 at 9:19 pm