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From the author of

Up with People!

Like it or not, it's a commercial web. And the commercial web has created commerce communities. While some may lament this as the death of the pure community ideal, I applaud it for the same reason.

Commerce communities create better informed customers, and everyone benefits from that. If one customer had a bad experience with a certain product, she can save another from the same fate. And if companies encourage communities to form around their product or service, they'll be more informed about their users' needs, and, in time, more responsive.

Everybody wins, except maybe lazy companies making bad products. But not even a community site could save one of those.

The web makes this new breed of informed customer possible, and commerce communities allow them to get to know each other. Community ideal or not, it's happening now, and we all may be better off for it.

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