Join me in focusing on me.

Though the name might have given that impression, online communities weren't exactly "beyond the personal web page". This wasn't only because in too many cases the community never really flourished. It was because from the outset the objective was something different from community. The Boidem has chronicled a bit of the rise and fall of online communities, and perhaps a reexamination of the topic is called for in the not too distant future. From the example of Excite, however, what's most interesting is that what replaced the original communities concept was a set of tools for personal pages, including photo albums. It seems that what most attracted people who attempted to build online communities was the possibility of other people taking an interest in what interested them. That's not community, that's a stage. Frankly, I prefer the up-front honesty of a personal web site in which someone says "look at me", to the roundabout and even somewhat devious ploy of the community, when all that someone really wants to say is "look at me".

Go to: The Return of the Home Page.