Friday, October 21, 2011

Community Online

When talking about whether or not community online can really be a true community it is important to understand the definition of community that the certain groups holds. Different definitions of the same word can change the meaning and the idea behind the group. This is especially true with all the debate surrounding the religious online communities that are sprouting up everywhere and whether or not they can be considered true communities. Looking into online communities I came across, an online community of Judaism followers. This group defines community as Jews coming together to “nurture connections” and engage with each other in everyday life through worship, conversation, and social engagement. In their online community, they use the website to meet all their needs. A person has the ability to stream live services that are actually going on or look up archived services to watch some from the past. The rabbi has created a blog that members can follow and where they can ask questions or get advice. They also have forums and chat rooms that are available 24/7 for people to post on and be in contact with each other whenever they would like. This community is linked into twitter, facebook, and YouTube so members have four ways to interact with each other without ever leaving their computer. The goal of this online community is to replace the “brick and mortar congregation” and build the future of Judaism by moving with the contemporary times and the heavy reliance on technology in today’s world. This community is one example of how online community can be a challenge to the local synagogue by targeting the technology driven culture and providing almost all of the services that the local church could provide, but with a much wider reach and the ability to be in contact at all times.

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