Friday The 13th


This package contains a trio of papers composed by Brenna O’Brien, one of our Chicago-based contributors possessing special insight into the nebulous world of online community building.

She gained much of this insight from her participation in the operation of, a digital community set up in the early days of the World Wide Web to facilitate the interaction of those folk who were fans of the Friday the 13th movie franchise. By shepherding the community over a period of years, she was able to discern several important lessons regarding the nature of such loosely-associated groups of semi-anonymous individuals. Lessons which she shares in the three papers which follow.

As semi-anonymity and online association continue to shape the operation of our national and international politics, at an ever increasingly fundamental level, these insights offer a helpful scope through which to examine our society’s rapidly-changing sociological underpinnings.

The three papers included are:

A Look into the Hierarchy of an On-Line Community:
“No Running in the Internet Hallways!”

A Case Study of an On-Line Community:
How Horror Fans Form Social Bonds on the Internet


Identity Formation In a Virtual Community:
The Dynamics of a Fan-Based Message Board

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