"Communities in the era of Web 1.0 were company towns. You had the ability to use your voice only so long as the man allowed you. Your entire contribution to the space was subject to the whims of one owning company. If you stepped out of bounds, in any way, you could simply be turned off."
Today, online communities can form through "connective tissues" between blogs and other self-owned media which take the form of comments, trackbacks, hyperlinks, social bookmarking, and tagging. This connective tissue is independent of any one person or company, making the community both independent and resilient, as well as assuring that no one member can "simply be turned off."
In his presentation at the 2006 O'Reily Emerging Technology Conference, Derek Powazek, a senior designer at Technorati, defines what a community is in the era of Web 2.0. He explains what works, and what doesn't, by discussing examples from several well known online communities. Additionally, he explains Technorati's goal to aid new and existing communities as they strengthen the connective tissues amongst their members.
Derek Powazek is a senior designer at Technorati and is primarily responsible for the overall user experience across all projects. Since 1995, Derek has worked on a myriad of design projects for companies such as Blogger, Nike, and Hotwired. An accomplished photographer, Derek, and his wife founded JPG Magazine which is devoted to the community of photographers who aren't quite professionals. He also contributes regularly to his photo blog, Ephemera.
Derek has several articles and books to his credit including Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places (New Rider, 2000), We've Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture (Perseus, 2002), "Connecting Invisibles: How Associations Can Get Their Members Talking Online" (Executive Update Magazine, February 2003), and "User to User Support" (Web Techniques, November 2001).
This free podcast is from our Emerging Technology Conference series.
Photo: James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media