Where are Online Communities?

These pages provide some links to listings of three types of online communities: virtual, organisational and local. Some of these listing have been developed by our sister site Communities Online.

Virtual communities

UK voluntary sector sites listed by Communities Online act as a focus for communities of interest in the community and voluntary sector: including black groups, people with disabilities, church organisations, and environmentalists. Community.web is developing a more comprehensive gateway to the community and voluntary sector, with plans for discussion areas.

The Mailbase system hosts hundreds of mailing lists for a wide range of researchers and other academics.

Commercial sites like Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ host discussions to attract audiences to advertising, and other like Egroups make it easy to create your own online community as a mailing list with its own Web site containing archives, calendars, document vaults and databases.

Visit the web site of cyberspace guru Howard Rheingold for the text of his influential book The Virtual Community;Cybersociology is an academic online magazine about online communities with useful reviews and resources for online communities.

Organisational communities

Most organisational communities will be closed. Two projects which Partnerships Online is developing are Ruralnet - a system for rural organisations and interests - and the Community Action Network that is connecting 2000 social entrepreneurs by the end of the year 2000.

Local online communities

The COnet datamap project lists local online communities in the UK. Communities Online has links to the main UK sites about community networking, plus European and International sites. It also has pages about online democracy, campaigning, community involvement .

Best places to go for ideas? Besides this site and Communities Online, see the US Benton Foundation which has excellent listings of sites and resources as well as a best practices toolkit for those getting organisation or local communities online.

The Community Connector project at University of Michigan maintains a directory of North American community networks and useful resources.