iPods, mobile phones and community
Barry Wellman Net Lab Director of the Centre for Urban & Community Studies of the University of Toronto was interviewed for a thoughtful long feature of Kenneth Kidd in Sunday’s Toronto Star about how iPods and mobile phones are affecting public/private boundaries of community.
So the whole notion of a strong, controlling neighbourhood community “has factually not been true” since at least the 1960s. What has replaced it — with the accelerating help of cellphones — is what Wellman calls “networked individualism.”
“The big change has been this shift from groups to networks,” he says. “They’re less formally structured, they’re more amorphous.”
Those in anyone’s network don’t have to be physically close, just a cell call away, and it’s easier to opt in or opt out of a network than it is a group
Must read: Barry Wellman & Net Lab
Huge amount of publications about networking and online communities