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Interesting to see how the boundaries between the concepts of tool and community are not that clear in the online world. Members of a community use a tool to interact, carry out a process. Tools posses certain functionality which allow users to connect between them and perhaps form communities.

I am thinking, as a developer how would I know when a certain tool or its functionality will encourage the creation of a community?

Aldo de Moor

Good question. Very hard to know from the technical properties of the tool themselves. Many tools play very different roles in communities than the ones intended by their designers. Tools are often also used in concert, together providing a subtle mix of community functionality. The best way to find out are empirical studies of tools-in-use and then try to generalize from there.

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