An early promise
of the Internet was that it would revive community life in the
United States. By providing an easy means for communication, the
hope was people with common interests and geographical proximity
would connect in ways that they otherwise would not.
users are using the Internet as tools for community building was
the focus of a recent survey conducted by the Pew Internet Project.
The survey explored the extent to which Internet users participate
in online communities with people sharing common interests. The
survey also explored communities online, that is, online groups
concerned with the places in which users live (i.e., neighborhood
In this talk,
I will discuss the findings in detail and their implications for
the Internet's evolution. A preview of findings:
are using the Internet as an associational tool; a strong majority
of Internet users belong both to an online community and a community
online connected to the place where they live.
is prompting many Americans to join online communities.
- People who
belong to such groups are active in them, emailing other members
frequently and often meeting other members face-to-face.