Virtual Communities of Interest – What, Why and How?

Virtual Communities of Interest – What, Why and How?

A virtual community of interest, or interest-based community, is a community of people who share a common interest or passion what they love.

It is not uncommon these days to find oneself immersed in either engaging debates or heated discussions over topics that we are passionate about. Be it from our favourite rock bands to the latest novel in a trilogy, or from software updates to the latest GoT episode, “hanging out” with people who share similar or dissimilar points of view on common areas of interest is the “it thing” of the modern world. Well, these occasional hangouts have a name too, and they are called Virtual Communities of Interest.

What

A virtual community of interest is an internet-based community catering to provide a platform for various activities to people who share common interests over a particular subject or idea or passion. It is called “virtual”, because there is no physical interaction between the members of the community on the platform, and their interactions through the medium of the community are restricted to online. The community members can exchange ideas and information, and the most vital aspect is the bond that they share, and not any physical space.

Why

Virtual Communities of Interest are quite a rage, and the reason lies in there need in the present context. In the first place, the internet has percolated deep down all communities and all age-group. All our ideas and knowledge of the world have come to be shaped by its mammoth power. Besides, the young minds of today are open to discussions in order to broaden their vision, and these discussions are limited only by the span of the internet these days. Add to that the benefit of non-physical access to a wide knowledge pool, and you are good to go.

How

Decoding the existence and functioning of Virtual Communities of Interest is no complex task in a world where each life is surrounded by multiple social media accounts. In fact, such communities are to be themselves seen as social networking platforms, only people are networking because they share some common ideas or passion. The motive of the Virtual Community is to break across geographical and social barriers and allow mutual interests to thrive.

Technologies such as electronic mailing lists, MUSHes and MOOs, online chat rooms, IRC (Internet-Relay Chat), and MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) are commonly used for the purpose. The community works not only as a booster to the ideas and thoughts of individuals at large, but also to help foster belongingness to a particular community.

It can be said that Virtual Communities of Interest are suitable and appropriate channels for enhancing communication and civic participation, on a larger scale. Although it cannot be denied that like other internet uses such communities may lead to addiction and wrong direction in a few cases, yet the bigger picture is that they are also crucial drivers in the process of unlocking and creating personalities out of individuals. There is a reason such communities are so much in trend these days.

Sachin Sharma

Contributing Editor at Wimoxez. I am a passionate Technology and very ambitious towards my career. Writing is not my job I enjoy it from the heart.

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