In the technology industry, this happens over and over. Take “cloud computing,” which used to mean something pretty specific and now means essentially “on the Internet” as far as I can tell. Outside the technology industry, take “news,” which also used to mean something, and now is a muddy mess of news/editorial/advertising.
We’ve even been accused of muddying the term “open source” here on opensource.com (a debate I love to have—there are smart opinions on both sides: protect the core vs. extend the audience).
So when I read a recent post by Gartner analyst Brian Prentice entitled Defining & Defending The Meaning Of “Community” – An Open Source Imperative, I was familiar with the lens he was looking through already.
Brian’s argument? According to his post, community used to mean “a collection of people whose defining characteristic is shared participation.” I might add “and a common purpose or vision.”
But now the word community is often being used to refer to any ol’ collection of people. From the article:
[read the rest of this post on opensource.com]