Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog 3 - Community Online

This week we focused on "community online". As users establish their identities online, they begin to identify others with similar identities, and thus form a community. These online communities widely vary when it comes to member participation, content, and whether or not members can connect outside of the world wide web as well. Some examples of online communities would be fan-made celebrity websites or RuneScape, which is a virtual medieval world where players can interact, explore and challenge other players.

Religious communities also exist online. Churches, synagogues and other religious communities across the country often "live stream" their services so members who can't attend in person are still able to participate. Although this option provides convenience for members who are unable to attend, or simply don't want to get out of bed that morning, one has to consider the negative benefits. Can involvement in an "online" community as opposed to an "offline" community create a disconnect between members and their spirituality?

Two photos from my case study help me to explain the bridging, blending and blurring between online and offline communities.

The above photo is an example of bridging between an online and offline community. The meme creator took a biblical reference and linked it with a perceived conservative characteristic.

This second photo also uses a bridging strategy. In the bible, Jesus feeds the poor by handing out loaves of bread. This photo does not mention a specific part of the bible or verse, but it alludes to something Jesus would do. The meme creator then links the biblical reference with another perceived Republican ideal.

For the most part, my collection of memes reflects bridging of online and offline communities. By bridging together Christian & Republican references, the creator of these memes can attempt to persuade viewers to perceive republicanism in a negative way.

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