This is a very hastily written blog post to contribute to discussion about real or imagined community at Heli’s blog.
The diagram above is my visualisation of Steinmueller’s view of virtual community. If you want to find out more about my thoughts in 2003 please click.
I’d just like to pick out a few points:
In the diagram, you can see the 3Ps that are common to most early 21st century views of online or virtual communities – People (membership), Policies (governance), and Purpose (individual and/or group attribute).
The aspect (that is Steinmueller’s contribution) that seems particularly relevant to me is Sustainability. Steinmueller characterised this as something that is lost
either when the costs of participation exceed the willingness to participate
or there is a coordination failure .
The coordination failure could be that horrible experience when you log in one morning to find that the space no longer exists, or something else goes wrong.
Anyway, this is for you – take it or leave it.