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Welcome!

I hope you guys enjoyed the first issue. We've doubled are subscribers since then which is really exciting! To my new and old subscribers, thank you all for subscribing to Society x Tech. Our second issue is discussing Online Communities. Scroll down to read more.

An online community is a  community whose members interact with each other primarily on the internet. Online communities can feel like a home as well as a knowledge transfer where members can share ideas, discuss, give advice, or collaborate. Online communities take place in some of the following platforms:
  • Slack 
  • Telegram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • GroupMe 
A look at the positive implications of this trend.
Can we talk about how ableist it feels when people treat social media as an inherently evil...

Online communities allow for people to have a connection to resources as well as people that individuals may not have access to in their every day life. These resources and connections can lead to both professional and personal opportunities for growth and encouragement. 

Friendship as a maker: the role of online communities

Online communities allow you to foster relationships with people that you may not necessarily be able to meet in real life. These initial connections can transform into friendships, partnerships, and mentorships. Taking part in a community with diverse groups of people can shape the outcome of your product or service that you're trying to create by engaging in discussions, asking questions, and soliciting feedback.  
 
Some things to think about when engaging in online communities.
The Impending Death of open online communities.

Online communities have shifted from not only being on public forums like Twitter to being on more private channels like Slack and Telegram. With the move to private channels, it can create an element exclusivity. Additionally, depending on how the community is curated, it can lead to a lot of sameness and less of diverse thought and discussion which can be isolating to those within the community who thought they were participating in something different than what they had experienced.  

Can the problems with social media be fixed?

While social media was once originally a platform that gave everyone on the platform an equal voice, there is a trend of who can be the 'most' viral even if what is being said is not impactful or meaningful. Moreover, there is a huge trend of "cancel culture" that can disrupt the flow of healthy discourse and magnetize issues that do not need to be magnified. Toxic trends that exist within a given space hinder online communities from being positive, fruitful and effective.
 
An interview featuring a maker who has created an online community.
This month's newsletter is featuring Marie. Marie is an indie maker from France, working on two main products: Threader, a Twitter client curating good threads, and Women Make, an open community meant to support women makers and put them at the forefront. Marie left Paris more than a year ago to become a digital nomad and work on projects with her partner, Vincent. Check out her interview.

If you're working on something that's aligned to a trend in technology and would like to be featured, please fill out this form so I can get in contact. 
Are online communities helpful? Can they be exclusive and present toxic behaviors? Here are my thoughts on the issue.
I think online communities are very beneficial. You have the opportunity to engage in conversations with people you ordinarily wouldn't get the chance to while also expanding your network. I've personally gotten a lot of opportunities to collaborate, attend events, and expand my reach through online communities. 

At the same time, I think that sometimes communities, if not moderated correctly, can create toxicity and be ineffective for the members. For those who want to create their own online community, spend some time outlining why you want to do so and how you want members of your community to feel. Communities that are effective and meaningful are communities that allow people to feel safe, included, and empowered to engage in the discussions as well as provide their insight.

What do you think? Tweet me so we can discuss. 
Thanks for tuning into the second issue! Also, if you have any feedback, please email me.
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