Learning about societal norms, values and the psychology behind them has always been very fascinating to me. How do communities get created? How do rules, norms and values establish themselves within these communities? How does a style, or trend become ‘cool’? How do specific individuals become leaders, or influential members of a community?
With living in the Information Age, and the immense influence the internet has had on our daily lives, it’s no shock that online communities have been created, established, and are thriving. Just by creating a blog here and posting you’ve become part of the WordPress community. It then becomes fascinating to see niches in communities start to form. Whether this be by the topic or genre of an individual’s blog, or the demographics of the blogger themselves that people relate to and form relationships with. The behaviorist in me enjoys to watch it.
I really thought about this topic of an online community being established while I was on Google Hangouts last night with the friends I’ve met online, the same ones I’ve met in person countless of times. The group of us really did create our own community of sorts by our common bond of watching Reality TV. That’s our niche. The common bond that connects us together. Aside from that we are all unique in our own ways. From geographic location, culture, upbringing, race, you name it and we are all different. From this common bond though we created a community, and from that we’ve created our own norms such as having Google Hangouts being our platform to use for face to face conversations. We also have games that have become the norm to play such as Pretend You’re Xyzzy , Farragomate, and iSketch. Heck, we’ve even created our own game called Word Game (credit to Vince for starting this craze). We create our own lingo for certain words and phrases, our own style, essentially we’ve created our own online niche culture.
It’s cool to look at it that way.