Week 5 Summary: Which Came First, Community or Technology? (I bet you look at the chicken and the egg differently)

This week I have looked at readings and many, many postings, and many, many websites that have to do with community.  It has also been interesting reading what other classmates have written about the concept of community and how they are finding different variations of that theme not only in their own readings, but in the MOOCs they have chosen to enroll in.

Applying an interesting definition of web technology, Knox (2015) described it as “. . . the invisible means to connect people.”  I found this definition could be taken in a number of ways, especially when considering the format of my MOOC.  Artists and poets use technology to be sure, but their sense of space and community seems to be founded in the “invisible” forms of nature and the spirit of the fauna and flora of that space.  Kozinets (2010) addresses the idea of how culture is formed by stating, “With our ideas and actions, we choose technologies, we adapt and shape them.”  In each case it seems clear that mainly, technology is merely a tool to describe the communities in which we naturally find membership.  Technology, in a sense therefore, does not alter or create the community; technology simply makes the community more accessible, more relative to others, or easier to describe.  So, is community created in spite of technology or is technology developed in spite of the culture it is applied to?  Interesting questions, I think, reminiscent of the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Knox, J. 2015. Community Cultures. Excerpt from Critical Education and Digital Cultures. In Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. M. A. Peters (ed.). DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_124-1

Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Chapter 2 ‘Understanding Culture Online’, Netnography: doing ethnographic research online. London: Sage. P. 22