Virtual Community to the Rescue!

July 13, 2002 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Virtual Community to the Rescue!
Two small towns next to a forest preserve, South Orange and Maplewood New Jersey, are unique in many respects. Unfortunately for a group of cons, the towns also have something many do not: an active virtual community.
When a door-to-door salesman's visit left one resident suspicious, she did some digging and found out it was a scam. So she alerted the police and posted a warning to the towns' message boards. Several other residents had been victims, too, but word spread quickly...
What's your story of MeFite sisters and brothers to the rescue?
from Design for Community
posted by planetkyoto (5 comments total)
From the Design For Community story:
The power of virtual community lies not in replacing traditional community, but in simply augmenting it. The fact is, we are all already part of hundreds of overlapping communities - our beliefs, locations, desires, even the products we buy, all connect us to other people with the same characteristics. The internet just gives us fertile soil for those relationships to grow. For some, it's the first time those relationships have a place to exist at all, and that's pretty exciting. But the internet didn't create those relationships - it merely gave them a place to thrive.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:50 PM on July 13, 2002

Sigh. If only I could rally the MeFi community to my "Human Fund" campaign. You know, the charity whose slogan is "Money for people."

But my wildest (well, not WILDest...) dreams, I would be accused of something--white collar crime, perhaps, or on-line fraud maybe, and a quick post to MeFi would rally the troops, and result in an e-mail from skallas or jonmc or The Big Guy to uber-presence Glenn Reynolds, who would then quickly alert the masses of bloggers to post on my behalf, thereby attracting the attention of "real" media, who would then work to clear my name.
posted by davidmsc at 7:31 PM on July 13, 2002

Love the small town "soap box" dialogue on July 5:
BufflaloJoe - "We are constantly receiving calls from telemarketers telling us we've won a "three day getaway to sunny Florida!". My husband just tells them that his parole officer says he can't leave the state. Works every time -- the telemarketer says "Oh. OK, well, good luck!" Click."

Nilmiester - "Thanks Buffalo. It's nice to know the truth works so well. You should try it more often."

BufflaloJoe - "OK, Nil, I have a question. What is it that inspires someone to come into a perfectly civil thread and spew unprovoked hostility like that? I'm genuinely curious -- I don't know you, but have to assume you know me and have some sort of problem with me, and I ask that you at least be brave enough to be direct about it, rather than turn what was obviously a joke on my part into slander against my husband. You have a problem with my husband? You may want to take it up with him, via Privateline (although I can't say I recommend that course of action, heh), but in the future, why don't you keep your thread-killing moron-act to yourself, OK?"

posted by hockeyman at 8:44 PM on July 13, 2002

I didn't see the part about actual victims of a scam, sorry to say. Is it linked elsewhere? All I saw in the linked page was speculation about the motives of people, some information on how to check out their employer, and a note that the cops had "checked out as OK" at least one of the persons.

Am I missing something important?
posted by dhartung at 10:08 PM on July 13, 2002

Here is a direct link to the original DfC post that was so delightfully cribbed here.

Here is the archive of the original thread, showing the community in action.

And Nils? Dude. The idea is to write your own posts. If you're quoting, use quotes.
posted by fraying at 11:48 AM on July 14, 2002

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