Amazing detail and insight. Read the whole article here.
As long as the Internet has existed, virtual communities have always been around. In fact, they even predate the web. It seems hard to imagine now, but there was a time when “going online” meant logging on to a BBS or newsgroup, not opening a web browser.
Of course, things have changed since. The arrival of the web also ushered in the era of discussion boards, which were then supplanted by blog comments, which were in turn overtaken by social networks. Today, we’re living with a mix of traditional forums, comments, social media, as well as meta-communities like Reddit. And new forms of communication pop up every day, as shown by the growing popularity of semi-public Slack channels (a.k.a. IRC 2.0) or the success of Hacker News-type sites like Product Hunt.