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Creating Community Online

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, January 04, 2005, at 02:48PM

I spent all afternoon today at Gospelcom, where I used to work here in Michigan. I went out to lunch with some of the tech guys and then sat around at the office keeping people from working. My time was sort of split between talking about eThreads and talking about downtown. The downtown part's what I want to get into here, though.

One of the things that I've really wanted to do since May, but haven't, is develop my ideas on a very localized community site. This sort of extends back to the blogging paper I didn't write: while the Internet's a global medium, my life is local. Most of what I do online these days centers around LA. I read LA writers, LA news, LA weather, listings for LA shows, etc. I'd love to localize that even more, and create a hub not for LA, but just for downtown. The challenge is to figure out how you make this interface ordered enough to navigate sporadically, but also make available enough continuity to involve people in a running sense of community narrative.

That probably doesn't make sense... Hang with me, though. I want to develop this further.

Right now, though, I need to eat dinner before watching USC win the Orange Bowl.


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