Food and (Virtual) Community

It is almost dinnertime. You are staring at the green beans and thinking, “not again”.How do you think up a fresh, new dish with the same old beans? Check out the Internet, of course! It is positively bursting with blogs and websites where you can learn to cook just about anything. But for some people who wanted to grow their own food, in an apartment ,no less, a quick search was not always enough. Thus , grew the online community of Windowfarms. An initial model for  growing plants indoors in a hydroponic system was set up online and users from all over the world could use this model and bring in their own input based in their experience of using the model. A great way to share and grow knowledge! Windowfarms is also the subject of a research project at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute which aims to study how online communities work. One of their conclusions was that the community members were motivated to join because “it was fun to do”. If the project involves growing basil in a wine glass, fun describes it really well.


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