a good article about how online communities have endured despite the shortage of service offerings.
some good quotes:
"For every story about Internet addiction leading victims to ignore their families and become withdrawn, anti-social, and depressed, there is a countervailing example of a person who has found a support group, employment prospects, or a community of like-minded topical enthusiasts through the 'net."
"If broadcast, run by large entertainment companies, takes back some of the mindshare that had been gained by interactive media, we risk a tilting of our focus back towards the mindless television watching that threatens to turn our brains to sauerkraut."
"Yahoo! Geocities is another supposed manifestation of community, but is mainly just a platform for people without design skills to put up a personal web site quickly. The citizenship aspect of Geocities was always exaggerated…"
"Budding authors have joined with self-publishing venues such as Themestream. Volunteer editors have signed up with the Open Directory Project and Zeal.com to maintain directories of topical resources."