The Age of Community


By Peter H Le.

As with any age, humans evolve and adapt throughout time. That includes their technology, which is another fancy term for human creations. From the Bronze Age to the Information Age, human evolution is being expressed into this world. But as we are currently living in an Information Age, new innovations have manifested out of human creativity. One such common theme is the community.

Communities are not a new discovery. In fact they are the oldest forms of human expression throughout the world. From nomadic tribes, to the Egyptian civilization, or the Roman Empire, community always existed. But now, the idea of community in the Information Age is being merged and reintegrated in an interesting way, through technology, through a community of computers and its humans who use them.

Take the social networks. Leaders like Facebook and Twitter have enabled people to create literally communities online, enabling individuals to connect to others around the world. There are a now niche social networks, like Trippy which is an online community for travellers who want to share and give advice on their adventures. GoodReads is a place for book lovers to offer reviews to their favorite works and share them. LinkedIn is a networking site for working professionals to make potential business connections. GitHub is a community for programmers to work and develop software together. InterNations is a community for expats to connect and share their experiences and information about living abroad.

More social networks are popping up and are starting to specialize in certain interests. You can imagine what type of social networks and online communities can be conjured up, from people who love pets, to sports fanatics, to avid video game lovers. It has an abundant potential. And now there are new social networks called digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ripple that are coming onto the scene.

Digital Currency Community

These social networks are for people who want to use digital money to send it quickly to anyone in any location. There are hundreds of these digital currencies out there competing with each other, trying to build a following and their own communities, with each having their own philosophy and goals. What is also interesting is the underlying technology of the digital currency is the fact that it is a community driven technology. Without a community to adopt, support, and use it, the digital currency would die off. These social networks for money have been the flavor of the month and cutting edge breakthrough, since the Internet started to flourish.

So the heart of digital currencies is the community, human beings who support and operate it. To make your mind twist a little more, not only the human community which underpins any social network, it is the community of computers worldwide that create the foundation for all this social interaction. Computers are becoming themselves the community, because they are the ones who govern, execute, and perform all the nitty gritty work that a social network needs to exist and provide services to its human users.

Since human beings are social animals, the things they create like computers would eventually reflect this basic instinct. The desire to connect with other souls around the world is reflective in humanity and thus takes different forms in all ages. The Industrial Age improved our ability to move across distances with automobiles, trains, and aircrafts, thus allowing for humans to connect more with others around a country and around the world. In this Information Age, it has taken the form of social networks and digital currencies, to speed this process of relationship building even more. Human connection is a driving force for continuous evolution and creativity. It is no wonder that the Community Age would emerge out of all this technology.


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