Dear Steinkuehler and Williams,
I liked how your article focused on MMOs when discussing online communities, because many of these games are great examples of how an online community can function just like an offline community, with ties and support, that allow them to function.
For instance, many MMOs require a great deal of teamwork and team building in order to accomplish certain tasks. These teams are not only built and maintained in the online world, but they resonate into the offline world as well, showing that an online community can realistically encompass two whole worlds (the virtual and the real). Building and interacting with these virtual teams or groups gives way to patterns of behavior similar to those of real life communities, such as language and speech patterns and specific behaviors. These teams also create a shared identity that again, does not just stay within the virtual world, but in fact resonates throughout the real world as well. There are many avenues for people in these MMOs to interact with each other when they are not playing the game, leading to a greater sense of community that allows people to operate both online and offline, maximizing the potency of the online community.
I agree with your ideas on communities within virtual settings because I feel like they parallel real life communities, and sometimes go even deeper. I agree with your stages of building an online community and how they are able to maintain themselves through these in game interactions. Overall, I found the read to be very interesting and made me reflect on my experiences in both online and offline communities.