Online Creation Community

Synthetic definition and empirical references

One of the pioneer pieces of research employing the term virtual community can be found in a book with the same title written by Howard Rheingold and published in 1993. Nowadays, virtual community or online community is used broadly for a large variety of social groups interacting mainly via the Internet.

In the research, it is proposed the concept of online creation communities, instead of using the broad concept of online communities because with the concept of online creation communities, it is referred to a specific type of online community, the online community whose goal is knowledge-making.

In this first section in order to clarify from the beginning the phenomenon referring to, it is provided a broad synthetic definition of online creation community and then present empirical references.

Online Creation Communities (OCCs) are networks of individuals that communicate, interact and collaborate; in several forms and degrees of participation which are eco-systemically integrated; mainly via a platform of participation on the Internet, on which they depend; and aiming at knowledge-making and sharing.


Fuster Morell, M. (2010, p. 7). Dissertation: Governance of online creation communities: Provision of infrastructure for the building of digital commons.


Empirically with online creations communities it is refereed to all these experiences:

  • Development communities, that is communities developed around the free software programming, such as the communities around Apache, Linux, Debian, Drupal;
  • Communities around not only technical knowledge or the creation of languages other than the software, led by the well known case of Wikipedia an online encyclopedia;
  • Communities around the global movement or techno-political tools, like People’s Global Action Global Archive or the Open e-library on social transformation that collects and classifies articles and materials on the themes covered by the social forums;
  • Media archives, such as the case of You Tube (a website to archive, share and recommend home-made videos), and Flickr (a website to archive, share and comment on photos).
  • Or Communities for scientific collaboration and the reclaiming of public science like the Public Library of Science (PloS).

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