Digital Arts & Humanities - a community ecosystem?

My colleague Neil just pointed me to a blog entry that was triggered by one of the conferences the Methods Network has recently supported (Web Portals and the Historic Environment). Leif Isaksen, who attended the conference, finished his blog posting with the following paragraph:

[quote]The other thing the conference brought up, in conjunction with a later conversation I had with my friend Gabby Bodard, of the Digital Classicist, is that community fever seems to be spreading. Now this is undeniably a Good Thing. Antiquist, Dijklas, DigiMed, IOSA, Methods Network, EPOCH, FISH, the HEIRNET discussion forum, and so on, all provide important services and fora for thought and collaboration. But there is currently a danger that in our unquestionable desire to be relevant and useful, we build the same fences and suffer the same mission creep as the standalone websites we criticize. My open question to all those groups (and any I’ve inevitably missed out) is: how can we build an ecosystem of communties that directly interact with, and support, the services and resources provided by others?[/quote]

Now, what follows will read a little bit like marketing for Digital Arts & Humanities, but it actually is more of a question. Part of the rational for developing this community site was to offer a place where different digital arts and humanities communities could interact: A website for those groups that do not yet have one, community tools such as blogs and fora for established groups that are looking for that functionality and - probably by far the most important - a place where communities can announce what they are up to and engage in discussion with groups they would normally not have interacted with. A meta community site, if you want to call it that way. There are of course other reasons behind this site, for instance allowing the community to engage with the outcomes of Methods Network activities, but this is what might outlast the existence of the Methods Network itself.

Now I wonder, could our site be a step in the direction Leif's blog entry seems to suggest? We have just started it, of course, and there is still a lot of work to be done (migrating content, setting up groups and inviting the people the Methods Network has been in touch with so far), but I would be keen on your thoughts about this. What would be needed to build the ecosystem Leif has just described?

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