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…

Researching organizational theory useful for p2p organizations.

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