(Rewrite in progress of CommunityTiedToOneTechnology)

In most online communities, one of the most obvious defining characteristics of the community is TheMedium that it uses.

In particular, it uses the "prefered technological medium" for almost everything that is in common to the Community.

(Members may privately e-mail each other, or IM each other, or whatever. But what is common is largely attached to one medium.)


For example, if you wonder what the MegaTokyo community is like, you are immediately confronted with... ...the forums, which is basicly a BulletinBoardSystem.

Or, if you wonder what the Kuro5hin community is like, then you are faced with the Scoop engine.

If you want to see what is going in a blogger community, you see a bunch of blogs and blogrolls.

If you want to see what is going on in a wiki community, you see a bunch of wiki.

Deviations from the Norm

Now, it's entirely true that there are communities that use many mediums. Especially among the more tech-savvy communities.

The best example I can think of is software development communities. In these communities, the developers frequently use and abuse:

...all more or less held in common. But even here, let's ask ourselves: Don't development communities that feature mailing lists and wiki tend to use the mailing lists predominantly for their conversations?

If the mailing list is held to be the core SharedAwarenessSystem, then anything that happens on the wiki is considered tertiary- something on the side. It lacks an authority, because you can't be sure that most people will see it.

Unplaced copy:

There is a difference between CommunityTiedToOnePlace? and CommunityTiedToOneMedium. Because that place can just be a SharedAwarenessSystem connecting people with multiple mediums.

Suppose that a community were using a mailing list as it's authoritative SharedAwarenessSystem. If you're in the community, you're more or less expected to keep up with the SharedAwarenessSystem. Anything else, and you're "out of the system," so to speak.

Now say you want to promote use of your wiki.

All you really have to do is combine the awareness of what is going on in your wiki with the awareness of what is going in your mailing list.

Perhaps make an RSS feed for your mailing list, and combine it with the RSS feed for your wiki. Aggregate them, show them together on the same page, and you have a nice low-tech GroupServer.

Define external redirect: CommunityTiedToOnePlace

EditNearLinks: BulletinBoardSystem