Who thought of all this, anyway?

What made people thing that typing onto a computer screen was a means of establishing community and commitment? Quite honestly, it's not the most logical assumption to make.

There must be many unindicted co-conspirators, but the main culprit that comes to mind is Howard Rheingold with his book The Virtual Community. In that book, and especially in the introduction, Rheingold gives us heart warming examples of how, rather than separating between people, Computer Mediated Communication brings them together. My guess is that readers, inspired by these examples, want to give it a try by themselves, and only later discover that it demands time, effort and commitment.

Rheingold, by the way, was well aware of the attraction the title of the book offered readers. He has written, for instance:

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