We Live in Overlay Communities

January 22, 2021

Remote work has forever changed where we'll live, but even before the pandemic, we started losing touch with our geographic communities.

Instead, we live somewhere else.

The Beauty Community, #RoamCult, Crypto Twitter.

We live on the internet in overlay communities.

Geographic communities are about your social class. Overlay communities are about your personal identity.

Few are gated by wealth, and most importantly, you can choose which communities you join. You can leave at any time.

These communities are no longer siloed into individual platforms.

Increasingly, what started as a YouTube fandom likely now encompasses Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Discord, Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, and maybe even more.

No single metric on any individual platform can describe the totality of a community.

If these communities span across the internet, how can we measure them? How can we map them? How does one join?


© 2020 Connor Daly