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Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places by Derek M. Powazek

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Chapter 8Barriers to Entry…Making Them Work for It

“It’s important to remember that just as a community includes some people, by definition it excludes others. All healthy communities have boundaries that are self-enforced through a variety of means, from informal social pressure to formal expulsion. Communities cannot function well without some means of exclusion.”

– Author and interface pioneer Brenda Laurel, from “People, Communities, and Service: Shaping the Future of the Internet,” a keynote speech given at GovNet ‘99.

There are two common assumptions about community on the web that need to be destroyed, here and now, before going any further. Don’t worry, this’ll only hurt for a moment.

Bad Assumption 1: Communities Are Open to All

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