A connected community is a community of individuals with shared interests who digitally collaborate, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual goals or objectives. Connected communities resemble real life communities in the sense that they provide a digital alternative to more traditional transactions between individuals, business, and/or government.
Connected communities encourage interaction and transaction between participating membership whether it be to access expert advice, conduct a transaction, or simply to interact with other parties. For example, community members may interact over a shared passion through various means: message boards, chat rooms, social networking sites, or virtual worlds. The most popular of these communities include Facebook and Twitter but although appealing to mass markets these commercial services are often not well suited to a communities specific and often sensitive requirements,
The explosive diffusion of the Internet since the mid-1990's fostered the proliferation of connected communities in many form.. These communities synthesise Web 2.0 technologies and have been described as Community 2.0. online communities. They depend upon social interaction and exchange between users emphasising the unwritten social contract between all levels of community participation.
Whereas, social media platforms like Facebook (friends & family) and Twitter (news and opinion) cater for the mass market, more specialist virtual communities may coalesce around a particular economic or social community such as capacity building, civic participation, economic development, emergency services, health & well-being, and industry supply chain.
Galbraith & Co. is a leading exponent of social-enabled portals having designed, developed and deployed a number of leading examples.