Or does community describe the group of individuals who congregate at each of the patient forums online? Many times, individuals may be part of more than one community which exists around a single topic of interest, ie those of us who are connected in the blogosphere AND on Facebook. Where do the edges blur?
What about the big disease organizations; are they part of our patient community? Why or why not? Are we part of their community? The interconnectedness of different social media platforms (ie blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and the individuals who make virtual homes there has potential to be very powerful when spreading information and awareness.
I'm full of questions today, apparently.
What do you look for in a community? What do you expect from other members of that community? How would you want larger organizations to participate and reachout within patient communities? Or do you expect them to create the community and welcome us to join them?
These questions go beyond having MS, or RA, or depression, or any other disease or condition. So tell me. What are your thoughts on the subject of community? My thoughts won't settle long enough to move into words. J
The Free Dictionary online defines community as:
1. a. A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.
b. The district or locality in which such a group lives.
2. a. A group of people having common interests: the scientific community; the international business community.
b. A group viewed as forming a distinct segment of society: the gay community; the community of color.
3. a. Similarity or identity: a community of interests.
b. Sharing, participation, and fellowship.
4. Society as a whole; the public.
a. A group of plants and animals living and interacting with one another in a specific region under relatively similar environmental conditions.
b. The region occupied by a group of interacting organisms.
[Middle English communite, citizenry, from Old French, from Latin commnits, fellowship, from commnis, common; see common.]