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The Rebirth of Community Spirit

"Personal computing is more and more 'interpersonal' - people use computers to relate to others online" (Crainer quoting Tapscott, 273, 2006).

Written almost ten years ago, Tapscott's prediction that the internet would become a community springboard rather than an isolating phenomena has come true. Commonly referred to as "Web 2.0," this new movement of up and coming websites is all about interaction, communication, and mass customization. Instead of viewing the web as a conglomerate of static pages designed by a group of highly skilled programmers, Web 2.0 sites encourage browsers to make spaces that are all their own (customized templates, backgrounds, music, etc.) while at the same time integrating features that instantly connect like-minded others.

Blogging is just one example of this community trend. Not only are people able to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions with the world at large, but many bloggers find that the "at large" part isn't as big as many assume. In fact, the ability to instantly post comments on blog posts with links that go back to one's own blog or email address creates a link-web that is often very particular to a certain group of people. The same bloggers find themselves running into each other all over the web, particularly via "web communities" such as MyBlogLog and Technorati. It's very common to find the same group of people chatting together in many different web "places." Rather than being isolating, the web has become *the number one* means of finding people who are similar to you, especially among those who have grown up with it.

One criticism of "cyber-friends" is that they never meet in "real life" so can not really be considered "real friends" or their online interactions as truly "social" events. However, the more the web becomes a place for everyone, the less people are inclined to think those they meet over the web are "weirdos" or "freaks" as was once the stereotype, and the more real life meetings occur. One website in particular,, is leading the way for music buffs with similar tastes to meet at concerts. People from all over the world can log in, import local concert times, dates, and venues, and click to list that they will be attending. Other people can then join the list of people attending, and plan to physically meet at the concert. More and more sites are enabling "cyber" friends to become decidedly "real."

What does this mean for the world of business? It means people are no longer afraid to trust those they meet, or do business with, online. Rather than isolating individuals and securing them to their cubicles, the internet has the ability to bring together intellectual resources from around the world. It means that everyone is finally realizing that those little smiley faces and typed words are coming from a very real human being on the other end of the connection. A human being that is physical, is potential, and is giving us the capability to do business anywhere and with anyone. Tapscott was right when he said that community spirit is being renewed, but our community is now the entire world.


Crainer, Stuart. Active Learning. (2006).The Ultimate Business Library: The Greatest Books That Made Management (The Ultimate Series). Capstone Publishing Limited.

Tapscott, Don. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation

Technorati tags:
advice, blogging, book review, books, business, computers, generation y, growing up digital, management, opinion, tapscott

This post first appeared on Business Now - A Gen Y Perspective, please read the originial post: here

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The Rebirth of Community Spirit


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