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Worlds largest internet community?

edited December 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Me and my cousin had a debate about worlds largest internet community. He thinks that gamers are the largest internet using group and some gaming community is the largest community, but I disagree, 12-17 years olds might be the largest active user base, who usually surf the net on the chat sites and other "hip" and "fresh" sites like MTV and what not chat places. But let's not forget china, japan and korea, there might easily be some communities that are flush with people playing virtual pachinko and such. So, what are your opinions and if you have links to some studies and facts, those are appreciated.

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    Well judging from big-boards I'd have to say it would be the anime/role-playing community.
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    MMPORG Gamers are definately up there, It's probably rebellious in Korea not to play them from what I hear, add in China and the then the rest of the world and I think they're the biggest.

    Trouble is none of these communities are contiguous, they bleed into each other i.e someone might be into Livejournal, Myspace, FaceParty and play WoW but some MMPORG people might not get on with people who play other games.

    Oh lets not forget the orginal inhabitants of the net, the academics and students.
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    But I did some small reseach, and even if like WoW community has 4 million players world wide, the combining MSN and Yahoo IM community has something like 275 million users so I think they take the first place.
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    If you really think about it though, "gamers" is really a generalization. But in hindsight, yeah, there are a TON of gamers. For a specific SITE though, I would lean towards saying that sites like ebay have the biggest draw for numbers of world-wide users to one place.
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    You got an excellent point there lech. Something commercial like ebay is a popular pic and known world wide, like amazon or something like that. But are they communities tho?
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    well, you can say there is a community devoted to selling their wares and the such. I haven't ever needed to purchase or sell items via ebay, but there is the whole rating system to which you do interact through to some respect. So there is at least that.
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    *puts media studies hat on* I reckon you're spot on there with Ebay as they have their own shared specialised language and practices, although it's a weird one as they only communicate via the rating system (unless they have forums?).

    MSM and Yahoo IM aren't communities by themselves as no one identifies themselves by how they communicate, but you could identity yourself as a 'hardcore e-bayer'.
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    Here is a link to biggest boards w/ stats, config, comments, etc http://rankings.big-boards.com/ I didn't see any japanese or korean board so I doubt it's accurate (go figure about stats in an alphabet you can't read! Well as long as nobody in your team can ...) but for US and Europe it should be. There can be many more comments for one board and members for another one so I wonder how to measure stats for communities at large?
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    Markwilkin: You can't say that IM isn't a community just because they don't identify themselfs by how they communicate. They are a defining factor when looking at a large group. Just like drivers, by default they are recognized as drivers even tho they are not an unified group of people who do the same thing in same way. But I wouldn't say that MSN and YAHOO IM community is comparable to let's say a forum, or a society where the community itself is a purpose for those people to be there. Also, community should be rated in the way that it shouldn't excist without the community, as MSN would be there if there was just some 10 random people with differing interests monthly there, but anime/rp forum wouldn't necessarily be there without the hundreds of anime/rp fans.
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    o8
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    we already won!


    the slogan makes perfect sense now!
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    I guess it depends on how you define "internet community" if you're counting users of IM, surely you could count 'people who use email' as an equally legitimate group. (which of course would be absolutely mammoth) I think it would also be fair to assume that the number of people subscribed to porn on the net would outweigh those using the net to play online games.
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    *tee hee* You said porn.
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    does the word "porn" get you all hot and bothered Mr. Fahrenheit?? * gak, I must be bored at work if I'm writing puns as awful as that.
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    It's ok, I like it :P
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    :D
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    Well, I actually mean online communities where all the people are in the same place, in IM they don't all communicate with eachother, neither do they do so in IRC or Email. Those are communication tools. Communities are like CGtalk, Gamespot, Lussumo and so on. My guess goes that the largest community can easily be in China or Korea, the largest western community goes easily to Wikipedia or DeviantArt in my opinion. But Usenet might be a nice rival for the number one place also, they have 2million posts per day, so I think that the community size might be pretty humongous.
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    I am starting to dislike DA... then need to do something. It seems so stale lately. And their servers suck, their shit is almost as slow as MySpace.
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    edited December 2005
    You guys are right, the largest Internet forum is in Asia; it's a mega-BBS devoted to every topic imaginable. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2channel
This discussion has been closed.