The Virtual Community Concept

A local community comprises many different groups, businesses, institutions and individuals, all of whom in their separate and collective roles make up the "community", in this case of the Merimbula district of the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

This Internet site is a similar reflection of the many facets of individual and collective effort and identity which, in total, comprise the Merimbula community.

At present, the Internet is not for the local enterprise. It deals with national and international issues, and is rapidly becoming clogged with small, personal pages which are of little interest to the general Internet population and of little reward to the creator of the pages, because of a lack of readership.

This has arisen for two main reasons :
  • It is so easy to create and publish a set of Internet pages. Anyone with a computer, an account with an Internet Access Provider and some simple software packages (mostly available free of charge from within the Internet itself) can publish pages on any topic that they desire. As a consequence, they do!

    While the democracy of the Internet that allows this to happen is remarkable in itself, it is having the result of cluttering up the Internet and making it more difficult for people to find specific information of use to them.

  • There is nowhere else for people to publish their pages. Because major search engines such as Lycos allow people to submit their sites free of charge, the end result is that the page published by Nellie Groan about her dog's hind leg is given the same opportunity for prominence as a site explaining the periodic table of the chemical elements produced by the University of Southern California.

The Virtual Community concept addresses these problems directly, by providing an appropriate location for people to publish their local and regional sites, drawn together by the common theme of their collective membership of their community. It is the Virtual Community site itself that is promoted widely and the individual authors and contributors can expect to obtain derivative readership from this collective promotion.

The Virtual Community concept also overcomes the deficiency in the Internet of its focus on the world as one large community of souls and organisations, with distance and location reduced to irrelevancy.

While all users do in fact celebrate this amazing phenomenon of the global Internet community, we all face reality when we go outside to go to school, to shop, to work or to play. In the real world, the distances and utter dominance of our physical locations take over. What is of most importance in our real lives are local issues; local services, local entertainment and local activities. Yet there is no obvious access to information on the Internet that will help us in our local information needs.

This is where the Virtual Community concept comes in. On the one hand it provides a local and regional context within which people and organisations can promote their interests and activities. On the other side, it then provides an information source for people to find out about the things that are happening in their community and the location of services and facilities that they need access to in the real world.

Welcome to the new world of the Virtual Community. Visit your own virtual community site. Find out about the people and organisations that are active there and make your own contribution by publishing pages on your school, your business, your organisation or your own dog's hind leg. You may also be interested in publishing your personal home page, so that other people can read about you and understand what makes you a unique member of your community.

© Morningside Internet