In the very chatty conversation over Friday's post, "The Second Life Community Should Lead the New Virtual Reality Wave, Not Follow It" sirhc deSantis makes an interesting and provocative point:
These continual references to the 'Second Life Community' rankle me. With my 9th rez day at the end of this year I have yet to stumble over this mythical beast. Been involved in communities (plural) over the years made up of people with shared interests (of many kinds) but never met this all encompassing one.
As the word is mostly used as marketing speak to mean 'people who buy/use our stuff we want to make feel involved in a more or less touchy feely way so they buy/use more stuff and act as an unpaid evangelical force' I may be a trifle jaded.
The only thing users of SL have in common is that they use SL. Does that make it a 'community'? In the same way as a FaceBook 'community'?
Fair couple of closing questions. As I've noted before, less than 30,000 people typically attend Second Life's annual birthday celebration, which leads me to conclude that there are few SLers who have a deep affinity with SL as a unified virtual community, and more who are just interested in going to their favorite nightclub or roleplaying sim or whatever sub-community they're affiliated with.
In a follow-up comment to his post that started my Friday post, Maxwell Graf makes a good defense of the community concept: