December 10, 2002
Welcome to the Anthill

Hello there! You’re reading the first post (w00t!) on Ant’s Eye View, a journal dedicated to reporting on and exploring all the various elements of anthill communities.

What are anthill communities? Well, if you want the full explanation, my original article on the subject is the place to look — it’s where I coined the term. But I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on the concept, I wanted some kind of ongoing exploration of it. Hence this blog.

In brief, anthill communities are sort of the flip side of “communities of practice” — groups whose common bond is that they all work in the same field, or hold the same position, or for the same company, or whatever. Anthill communities are instead communities of purpose — they form around a goal they would all like to see met. To accomplish that goal, each member brings whatever they can. Like ants, which can lift many times their own weight, some members bring a lot; they may write most of the code in a software anthill, for example. Others bring less, maybe some documentation, or testing time, or just good ideas. But everybody brings something, and in the end, all get to share in the satisfaction of having accomplished a goal collectively that none could have accomplished individually.

The first flowering of anthill communities was in the Open Source/Free Software world, with projects like Linux, Apache, and so forth being produced as the result of groups of geeks scratching a communal itch. But now anthills are popping up all over the place — and on this site, we’ll watch them meet their destiny. Some will flourish, some will flounder, but all will teach us something about the kind of communities the Internet has made possible.

Make sense? Hey, if not, send me an e-mail and we’ll see if we can hash this idea out further. This project is an anthill too, after all, and no ant can build an anthill all by himself!

Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at December 10, 2002
About Your Host

Ant's Eye View is edited by Jason Lefkowitz, a consultant and Web developer in Alexandria, Virginia. Got a question, comment, or concern? Let me hear it!

Obligatory Disclaimer

If you think anything I write here represents the opinions of anybody but myself, you need more help than I can give you. The opinions are all mine, folks. Nobody else's. ESPECIALLY not my employer's.

If that's too hard to understand... well, I'm sorry. There's only so much I can do. I'm not a therapist, and I'm not a miracle worker. (Unless you consider staying employed in this economy a miracle.) I wish I could help you work through your delusional belief that I'm speaking for anyone else but myself. Honestly, I do. But in the end, that's a monkey you'll have to get off your back on your own. Sorry.