This week, I did research on the nature of digital communities and set up many accounts and systems for my upcoming internship at Raft.
On the research side, I started at the basics. My question was “Why do people participate in virtual communities?” The answer was provided mainly by Cultures of Anyone, a book on compuculture that uses the Spanish Neoliberal Crisis as a prime example of internet communities. The book’s conclusions were twofold.
Conclusion #1: People use digital communities in place of real ones because they are easy to access and easy to grow. To illustrate this point: there is currently a community on Reddit dedicated entirely to car mechanic comedy (a genre I did not know existed) with over 800,000 users. Thanks to the connectivity of the Web, people can bond over extremely specific things, far more specific than ever before.
Conclusion #2: The Web offers an unprecedented degree of freedom. Thanks to anonymity, people can safely share opinions or ask for embarrassing advice with no fear of being ostracised. This is a benefit not available in most real-world communities.
In short, digital communities offer Simple Freedom.
Now, onto the internship side. I’ve begun to pick up Ruby, a web development language used in hundreds of thousands of popular websites. I’m using Codecademy, a free online language tutor. Ruby shares a lot of elements with other languages I’ve learned before (such as JS, Lua, and Python) so it’s not too hard to understand.
I’ve also set up an email with Raft alongside a Zoom (web-conferencing) account and Mattermost (coordination system) account. I’ll be working on a development project starting this Monday.
Next Week: I’m continuing my research and beginning preparations for my virtual interviews, which includes constructing a virtual interview area. My internship begins next week as well.