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Rheingold on Mobile Virtual Communities

Howard Rheingold has a good article on mobile virtual communities up at The Feature. Rheingold tells us:

Virtual communities are:
  • Organized around affinities
  • Many to many media
  • Text-based, evolving into text plus graphics-based communications
  • Relatively uncoupled from face to face social life in geographic communities
Mobile communications are:
  • Organized around known social networks
  • Acessible anywhere, anytime, are always on
  • Text-based evolving to text and sound and graphics-based communications
  • Closely coupled to the behavior of people in physical space
Mobile virtual communities are:
  • Many to many, desktop and mobile, always on
  • Used to coordinate actions of groups in geographic space
  • Game environments, social arenas, artistic media, business tools, political weapons
The article is a front-line report from Scandinavia -- can we go ahead and anoint Helsinki and Tokyo as joint world capitals of mobile phone innovation? -- on the latest uses of mobile wireless devices to create labile communities of people across time and space. Recommended.

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