Cowbird is a great example of a positive online community. It is a community where people share their life stories with other ”citizens”, as the member of the community are called. The community describes itself as a ”public library of human experience” and their mission is to gather stories and to preserve them in order to provide life guidance to those in need.Cowbird was created in 2009 by Jonathan Harris and there are currently 66,749 authors and 86,416 shared stories. People can use tools such as text, images and audio to create their story. There are 28,217 topics that include love, family, travel and many others.
This community gives its members the opportunity to open up and read wonderful stories about a multitude of topics. When I browse through the stories, I don’t know which one to choose because they all look and sound so interesting. The most recent one I read is called ”The soft wisdom of 100 winters”, a short but touching story about something you have to find out for yourself because I don’t give spoilers.
I think a challenge that this community faces is the not knowing if the actual stories are true because on the Internet everyone can pretend. A limitation to this community is the possibility of being anonymous, making it harder to create human connection and easier to lie. Another limitation as well as challenge is created by the lack of video. Without videos, facial expressions and gestures don’t exist and this can lead to miscommunication.
If you would like to check out this storytelling community here is where you find the website.