I been part of online communities since i started out on my ventures on the back then mighty internet. Now on my master study, we look into these online communities and figuring out if they can be called communities at all.
I remember then i first was introduced to usenet, as pre teenagers we were mainly looking for 3 things; Star Wars related stuff, naked girls and warez ( I haven’t found the open source communities yet). This humongous new area was a big thing to swallow for us buys. Back then we had limited acces to the internet, if i remember correct we started out then a friend of mines dad got a 33.5K modem for his work at home. My parents got a moden some month later, then technology has moved up to 56K modems( but still blocking the phoneline)
Then i was around 12 a guy from our local geek club, got a new whole new system which we should look into, we were mainly DOS guys, using windows because mac was simply to expensive. It was Red Hat 4, which he wanted to put on the clubs server, it was a hell to install because none of us had any experience with linux before, but a spark was ignited in me. I remained being on windows since i was also a gamer, but the fire really got burning then i stumbled on the open source commmunites on IRC. I had already been using IRC a lot and was part of different communities there. As time went bye and i got older i ventured more into the deepth of the internet, social network sites was starting to form. From today point of view it was totally different, but back then it was huge, Myspace was just comming out and a danish version of Lunarstorm was the biggest thing among teenagers.
As time got by and technology moved on and ISDN and later broadband connections became avaible for the masses, i ventured deeper into online communities. Back in college 2 main communities got out, WoW and Gaia Online, 2 totally different worlds but with many simularites in a geeks view, the way you could make an avatar and go on adventures with your friends. WoW had the back then, huge online world in 3D, which we so far only had seen in varius online MUD’s and Gaia Online had a this weird world which was somekind of virtual chat room there you could travel among different forums where was ALOT of RPG’s going on.
Now all that is in the past..
Today all that remains of those world are many online friends which i never had a meating with IRL, but i still have a feeling of knowing them. I still use IRC because thats where the open source communications still is centered, even through we got a lot of forums for each distro’s i still prefer IRC. Today i use twitter alot also, its a great tool for networking and getting updates and discustions about my study area and other things related to learning. So i think of that as a kind of online community also. It also introduced me to a whole new word which in it own little way pretty much descripes online communities in 1 word: Fraingers, it was introduced by Ary Aranquiz (@trendingteacher) and is a simple combination of friends and strangers. There is a small group in twitter which know the deeper meaning of the story behind it..
Today i’m setting reading about all these communities might not be communities after all according to entrographical studies and alike. Looking into the way new media can be seen though a sociocultural views, a part of me is getting excited to use my study in a way i really like and another is feeling like Marty Mcfly which just came back from the past…
Now the hard part is to take all these happy moments and hard earned experiences and put them into a good use, because tomorrow is a new day and a new frontier .. so in best Buzz Lightyear style there is only onething to say: To infinity, and beyond!
Tiny URL for this post: