A piece from the paper:
An individual weblog is not likely to represent a community, while shared social spaces seem to emerge between weblogs, like in a city where life between buildings accounts for many social activities of its inhabitants. As in cities, blogger communal spaces are not evenly distributed: some neighbourhoods are full of social activities and conversations, while others look like a random collocation of houses where inhabitants have nothing in common. Blogger communal spaces may have visible boundaries, but more often indicators of a community are subtle and is difficult for a non-member to distinguish. Just as a local garden is not likely to have a sign indicating that there is a chess-player community that inhabits it every Sunday, blog communities do not delineate obvious community boundaries.
Somehow city metaphor was hitting me hard during last half a year…
I guess it’s started from A city is not a tree. Then it was reading Emergence and talkings about communities, shared spaces and weblog reading at BlogWalk 2.0, Ton’s post on founding a City in Cyberspace, Torill‘s Dialogue in slow motion at BlogTalk.
Life between buildings offers an opportunity to be with others in a relaxed and undemanding way. One can take occasional walks, perhaps make a detour along a main street on the way home or pause at an inviting bench near a front door to be among people for a short while. One can take a long bus ride every day, as many retired people have been found to do in large cities. Or one can do daily shopping, even though it practical to do it once a week. Even looking out of the window now and then, if one is fortunate enough to have something to look at, can be rewarding. Being among others, seeing and hearing others, receiving impulses from others, imply positive experiences, alternatives to being alone. One is not necessarily with a specific person, but one is, nevertheless, with others.
As opposed to being a passive observer of other people’s experiences on television or video or film, in public spaces the individual himself is present, participating in a modest way, but most definitely participating.
This post also appears on channel BlogWalk
Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/11/15.html#a1429; comments are here.