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World Community Grid – is it a Community?


I see the words ‘online community’ and I hesitate before clicking. In my experience a lot of “online communities” are one way dispersal of information, with feedback forms and email-in-options only. That’s not a community. Thats a portal. So what about one of the biggest and bestest supported “world communities”, World Community Grid?

World Community Grid’s mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. Our work is built on the belief that technological innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can change our world for the better. Our success depends on individuals – like you – collectively contributing their unused computer time to this not-for-profit endeavor.


Is it really a participatory community or is it just an agent you download and let run while your PC is idle? Interestingly enough, there are real elements of a global village here. For a start there are forums. One of the forums has a great idea: member maintained FAQs, wiki style

Start Here: Community-maintained FAQs [read only] Frequently-Asked-Questions and other useful Readmes created and maintained by the member community.

Let me tell you, user generated FAQs is pretty unusual and trusting. The other feature I like is the Team option… at a quick glance I could see the United States Marine Corp, Slashdot, The Seychelles and other countries have developed teams (you don’t have to join a team). Now teams or guilds, or clans or tribes help unify a community surprisingly enough – we come together in small groups and that helps us morph into a larger one, negotiating to move back and forwards between the smaller groups while keeping within the boundaries of the large community. Some of these World Community Grid Teams have gone so far as to set up web pages and other community tools to keep in touch. Throw in customisation (My Grid) and really cool smilies and well, do they have a community? Yessirreeee!

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

One thought on “World Community Grid – is it a Community?

  1. Laurel,

    Great blog entry! I’ve been contributing to WCG for several months and even formed my own team (now 30 strong). Well, wish you the best in your blogosphere!:)

    -Jeff

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