Nenad, this is my point, and the book does not even make the distinction. As a longtime user/costumer of Zipcar, I never have seen myself as a part of a community. I do not even know who my peers are! Yet they call us community. Same can happen to Platform Co-ops users. I am inclined, as you do, to preserve the word “community” to face-to-face only. Maybe we can find together a good way to name each of the four realities that are call “communities”, but I do not think that the word “network” works for that matter. A face-to-face community is also a network, in my view. Network is an analytical construct of another order.
I am struggling with this, I do not have a clear answer to address this, but I think that the first step is to distinguish clearly the different realities we dare to call “communities”. Sometimes I am inclined to call “communities” of thin ties “communities of interest”, and thick ties “communities of life”. That would lead us to:
- Non-peer’s communities of life (a family)
- No-peer’s communities of interests (a corporation)
- Peer’s communities of life (a kibbutz)
- Peer’s communities of interest (a consumer co-op)
I will explain in my next post how this different “communities” can be healthy or unhealthy, and their potentialities. Maybe then we have more ideas…