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Michael Jones

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Why did you join this community?

For my University dissertation I am looking into why people join online communities. This includes Social Media websites (Facebook, MySpace etc) as well as dedicated fan forums and online conversations (such as this one).

What I want to know from everyone is why did you join this online community?

No answer is wrong because everyone has their own personal reasons. I would hope to use these reasons to aid my research so whilst replying please note that I may quote what you have typed.

Thank You

EDIT : After comments from Fritzie Reisner (Thank You) I would like people to know that I will be simply looking at the frequency of answers and any direct quotes would be shown anonymously.

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    Mar 15 2012: To get balanced views on important subjects. Also feeling free, rightly or wrongly, to express my own views without bottling them up inside, where they serve no purpose.

    Balance is important. It stops my own views from becoming too one-sided, blinkered and parochial.
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    Mar 15 2012: Not what I would consider a "community" but that's just semantics.

    I don't go for the "talks". I prefer musicians for entertainment not speakers.

    I like the conversation threads. Many are interesting. Some are just to shoot the shit and chuck in my 2 cents cos I like to spout.

    Some are for the humour value like the religion vs science debate - classic.

    Discussions on sites like this are generally more stimulating than facebook utterances if no more meaningful..
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    Mar 15 2012: The conversations are real, honest and have great values. The respect aspect is most significant amongst the TED creators and the people that participate...it's worth it, to do all we can do, to make this world a better place, and TED open the doors wide for changes.
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    R H 20+

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    Mar 15 2012: I tried facebook and failed miserably - twice. I would comment on a topic and people would be offended and get angry quick. I found that people wanted to share their anecdotes rather than converse on topics. TED is the only place I've found where one can converse with like-minded people from around the world in a spirit of open dialogue. I can choose which topic I would like to participate in, and can leave when I want without offending anyone.. But there's something else about it I've noticed. With TED, and other online communities I imagine, you're free to offer your view with no repurcussions. No one knows you personally, so you have no fear of how you appear to others. There's no one to laugh at you tomorrow - except yourself. Your ideas, however limited your expertise is, can be exchanged in a real conversational format, just like friends or a party, without having to worry if you embarass yourself and will have to pay a social debt. You are free to voice! And in exchange for your offerings, the world can give you other insights you may have not been exposed to, or help clarify your idea (and word usage) against the absolute best critics you could ask for - like minded people wanting the same thing, mutual collaberative exchange, and a voice that is heard. Hope that helps. You can quote me on that.
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    Mar 14 2012: In saying you mean to quote people, you might mention whether you intend to quote them by name or in some manner to correlate their responses with characteristics you find in their online profiles. You may get responses from a wider range of people if you mean to isolate the comments you quote from any other information about the respondent.
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    Mar 14 2012: Like everyone else, I suppose : because my offline social network sucks.