Online communities have existed in a number of forms since the 1970s, beginning with bulletin boards (BBSes). These were text-based and used slow modem connections across the telephone system. BBSes remained popular throughout the 1980s and early 1990s as home computing became popular and inexpensive, allowing for wider access. (read more)
One of the ironies of open, digital communities is that from the perspective of intellectual development, they are sometimes seen to be too open to be of use for concentrated thought. Whether you are planning to work with existing communities or create a new community yourself, you are advised to consider exactly how openness is framed. For example, whilst open, discursive conversations will take place, there will inevitably be times when a more direct and/or private approach is needed. Communicating your email address should help to attract private responses to any requests you make. It is possible to advertise your email address on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or blogs, but you may wish to consider an email alias in order to prevent spam. (read more)
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