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Design to Thrive by Tharon Howard

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What is an Online Community (Compared to Lists, Discussion Groups, or Forums)?

So far, by starting with established descriptions of social networks and comparing them to online communities, we've got fairly high-level definitions of what social networks are. We've also partially defined online communities by looking at how they're distinguished from social networks, but we really haven't given an established definition of online community from the field the way we did for social networks.

One of the best definitions of communities in the literature comes from Jenny Preece's book Online Communities. Preece's definition is as follows: An online community consists of[4], 10

  • People, who interact socially as they strive to satisfy their own needs ...

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