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The Community Tour

Back to the Web Tour Home or the Tool Tour.

Sample Communities

Our tour is going to take us to a few communities to demonstrate some different types of online interaction spaces and communities. However, it is important to remember that some of the most vibrant and interesting communities are private spaces where we can't simply drop in. Most professional and business online workgroups and communities fall into these categories. So we'll look at some public approximations of these spaces.

As you tour the spaces, here are a few questions to consider:

  • What is the purpose of this group or community?
  • What tools help the group accomplish this purpose? Are they accomplishing the purpose?
  • What do you most like about this site? Dislike? What confuses you?

If you are part of a scheduled Full Circle Associates tour, you can post your thoughts at our discussion space. Otherwise you will find you have no access to that space.

If you want to find a community on a certain topic, you can also check out the huge number of online discussion spaces cataloged by ForumOne http://www.forumone.com/index/index.php

General Public Discussion Space

Sample Site



Salon.com is an online magazine which has it's own online conversation community. This community runs on Web Crossing software. This is a linear discussion tool. Tabletalk is a huge, diverse and active community. It recently went to a subscription model.

Topical Discussion Space

Sample Site


Discussion Board For
Home Educators


This board (which uses a linear discussion tool) is typical of an active discussion space. It is active because it has a clear purpose that meets the needs of the target audience, home school families.

Purposeful/Task Interaction Space

By "purposeful" interaction space, I mean a place where people come to get something particular done or get other's input or information. There are many examples of this, such as http://www.amazon.com' s book reviews (I go there to see what others' said about a certain book), http://www.ebay.com (I go to find out which sellers I can trust, how to find a certain thing) and http://www.webwhiteblue.org, a political action site.

Professional Community Space

More and more professionals and professional groups are going online to interact, get information and transact services typically associated with associations. For example Ehealth, a resources site for physicians, points out the value and location of health professional communities. Most of the sites noted here require membership. Medbiquitous is launching an ambitious effort to build online physician communities. VirSci builds online professional communities. This is getting to be big business!

Some of the professional spaces are designed to be Communities of Practice or CoPs. This is a concept that is being adopted in many professions and businesses. For more on CoP, please see http://www.ewenger.com/ewthemes.html

Sample Site





Hosted by Verticalnet, this is a typical commercial professional portal community.


Hosted by Spoke.net, eHam is an online community for ham radio operators. The highlights of this community are the active members and the ability to give members a certain amount of control in running their community.

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PairProgramming and then http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?search=pair

This is a bit more unusual. This is a professional community focused around a technical topic, Pair Programming. The engineers use this very free form space to work together. Take a look at the Visual tour link at the bottom of the page. They have done an amazing self-organizing effort. If you want, I can explain about the tool, WIKI on our phone call.

The second URL is the directory of this community.

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Full Circle Associates
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 517-4754