A pretty good day all told. I spent the last part of the day talking about virtual communities–creating them and sustaining them. It was a discussion session and I tried to make an argument that you can’t really force virtual communities, that the best ones simply emerge. I used the blog community–loose though it may be–as an example. These form much the way friendships form. You meet someone and eventually meet their friends and they meet yours–much the same way linking/blogrolling happens. I’ve also been part of communities that have stricter boundaries; they take place in a particular virtual space, sometimes around a particular topic or interest. I was involved in an IRC like that. Anyway, I know there are people writing books on the topic, but it’s funny how invested in the topic I feel I am simply because I’m an active participant in several virtual communities. It was nice to be face-to-face with some like-minded folks.