As I was thinking earlier today about blogs and community, I thought to look at the Triangle BloggerCon‘s site again. I rediscovered that the Blog Together site is “a wiki about using blogs to build community.”

This wiki is to be a resource for tools and tutorials on how to build community around a blog and how to use a blog to build community.

So there you are: even a blog-based community needs a wiki as the platform for developing resources.

Maybe this is an issue that has been addressed already in the blogging world & I’m just out of it… but even given a nail, not everything is necessarily a hammer. Are we seeing the evolution of niche tools for group and community (not to say communal) behavior? Similar to the way in which we saw the evolution of individual productivity tools, starting with the word processor and ending with the Microsoft Office suite. (Not a great analogy perhaps, but the first one that came to mind.) I might argue that a conference on blogs and blogging just the first step towards this community joining the ongoing conversation on virtual communities.

So my question is: What do communities do? That’s a silly sounding question, but I mean it seriously. What functions do communities perform, what tasks do they accomplish, what needs do they have? I’m not a sociologist, but I bet there will be some attending the BloggerCon who can answer this. Seems to me that once we have a menu of community functions, we can better talk about what sorts of tools communities need to perform those functions.