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  CONTENTS >> LEAD STORY   October 2003

Building Communities on the Web

A Conversation With Amy Jo Kim, Author Of Community Building On The Web
John Milton Fogg
Amy Jo Kim Is One Of The World’s Leading Authorities On

By John Milton Fogg

For over 15 years, Amy Jo Kim has been designing online networks and communities. Ph.D.-trained (though she never displays the title) in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Washington, she spent five years as an interface architect at Sun Microsystems; today Ms. Kim is one of the world's leading authorities on Web-based community design and online gaming environments. She is also founder and Creative Director of NAIMA, a Web design studio south of San Francisco that develops cutting-edge "social architecture for networked communities" for such illustrious clients as eBay, Electronic Arts, Maxis, MTV, Nickelodeon, Origin, Paramount, Sony, Westwood and Yahoo. Her book, Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, is considered the bible for building Web-based communities. In this interview, Kim shares her views on what elements define a truly functional virtual community, the pros and cons of virtual community for network marketers, and how in the future, the boundaries between virtual and "real" community will grow fuzzier and ultimately disappear.
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