Issue 27

In this issue of conduit:

1) Community Voice: Online Community: connecting lives, connecting people.
2) Community Wire:  We're Chatting Now!

This Issue's Quote: "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." - Robin Williams  


Community Voice

Online Community: connecting lives, connecting people.

Online community not only encourages individuals to share with others, helps to bolster a company's bottom line, or encourages viral marketing but it also brings the ups and downs of people's lives to the attention of others.

We have already reported in previous issues about occasions when the difficulties in a person's life have led them to seek support in online communities. The reasons for someone doing so are obvious: people DO form strong connections through online communities and DO feel that that is a venue for sharing both the good and the bad of their experiences, feelings and happenings. Taken to extremes, there have sadly been several articles about people expressing interest in ending their lives via a posts on a message board or in a chat room. This past week brings a report of a teenage boy who shared his farewell message on the message boards of a gaming site. Fortunately, an astute moderator was able to track down the boy's details and alert police, thus saving his life.

Online communities often are - despite a few taunting troublemakers - made up of caring individuals, who despite distance and differences can and do make positive contributions to their fellow participants by reaching out and being human! This can be as simple as assisting another person in a technical support forum when they are experiencing a problem with a product or it as profound as trying to calm someone who is suffering from suicidal thoughts. Communities online do provide considerable support to many Internet users for whom there may be no other venue in which they can feel comfortable sharing. We cannot and do not advocate that communities be seen as a way of saving lives or of airing suicidal thoughts. However, the fact that communities have played a role in saving individuals and the fact that those individuals turned to online community as a place to express their feelings is an indication of the power of online communities in bringing people together and providing positive connections to people's lives.

For more information, please read, "Teen saved after online suicide bid"; http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/10/04/online.suicide.reut/index.html


Community Wire

We're Chatting Now

We had such a great time with our first Open House that we decided to hold another. Come on in and share some coffee with us, ask community building questions or just say "hello". We will be in the chat room during the following times:

6am - 10am MT/PT
8am - 12pm CT
9am - 1pm ET
2pm - 6pm BST

Please check the front page of the site for a link to the room. We hope to see you there! :)


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