Thesis : 

One of the many qualities that make up human behavior is our desire to communicate and work with others.  In this digital age, it has become common for those lacking social skills to accomplish these desires to turn to online message board communities to interact with others.  However, not all of these message boards are set up as havens for the socially inept.  Could the true power and potential of community lie within social networks geared towards people with both offline and online social skills?

Statement: 

Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them.
– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

I intend to look at a specific on line community and show how its members have used their various talents to create a vast and powerful network, despite at first only having their message board as means to communicate with one another.  As time went on and it became apparent which members possessed adequate social skills, this translated into projects and meet ups facilitated by offline interaction.  The ones who neither had this quality or simply weren’t interested in that type of social interaction eventually were pruned from the ranks.  This left a fellowship of like minded individuals who would not let the constraints of a computer screen hinder goals that in the past would only be possible with face to face interaction.  This is the digital age’s e-firm.  There are no physical offices, which is perfect when work needs to be done in Seattle one day, and in Houston or Barcelona the next.

This project will show the way humans need for community are being met with today’s technology, and the pros and cons of accomplishing them using this technology. Finally, it will show the boons of creating a community that makes the best of both the on and offline world.  Social networking does not have to be strictly digital, it is the hybrid version that will accomplish the most in today’s age.

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