Online communities can be used as an extremely helpful tool. They can be a great way to learn new things, or to find others with similar traits. When I adopted a three legged dog several months back, I was told about a Facebook Page for “tripawds” with thousands of followers. They often post very helpful advice and tips on how to care for your dog properly as three legged dogs often develop serious mobility issues later on in their life due to missing the extra limb. Just this past weekend, I posted asking for advice on making your own dog food as that is something I am interested in starting. I got a ton of helpful feedback, but unfortunately several people disagreed with someone who originally commented on it offering her advice, which then turned into a back and forth swearing match. Several people quickly “ganged” up on this person, all because she said she puts rice in her dogs food. What was meant to be a post seeking information ended up having to have the comments turned off because of the nasty things being said back and forth. It was disappointing but at least I got the advice I was looking for.
Online communities can be a great resource and a lot of information I use daily for my job was learned through online communities. In my classroom, we often use projects and craft ideas that other teachers have shared which are then able to be used again in other classrooms.