Online Communities are social networks found online. It is supported by a computer mediated space where people from all cultures come together for some common purpose or some activity forming 'webs of relationships'. The communication that happens between the people can take place with only one person or hundreds of people simultaneously. It is conversation that does not depend on geographical location or social hierarchies. It is a place where people can commune with others on topics of their own choosing. It is, in fact, a virtual village where a series of interactions between community members take place.  
Some experts foresaw the evolution of virtual communities when the first email message was sent in 1973. They saw the potential of long distance communication with loved ones and business executives. With the growth of online services like AOL and MINITEL in the 1980s, this idea was further expanded to include communication with all known people around the globe. Lotus Notes in the late 1980s further evolved the concept of communication by forming communities of people who can work together online. Then came in commerce communities, like Amazon and Ebay, which started selling products and interacting online with their customers. Slowly the shift came towards 'blogging' in late 1990s. Yahoo and Google groups started to become increasingly popular when suddenly in 2003 the world was hit by the MySpace.com that provided the users the opportunity to interact with people sharing similar activities. With the increasing user base of MySpace.com, other online communities started to creep up to form the new way of life we have come to know of now. 
Popular Online Communities
My Space was formed in August 2003 with the goal of providing a chance for people to meet new people. It is an online community that lets a person meet their friends' friends. The website requires a person to register and then add friends their respective profiles. People can add their pictures, videos, music etc and write blogs.
Orkut is an online service which was started in January 2004 by Google. It is another online community that allows a person to build personalized webpages which other people can view. Initially any body could view anybody's profile but to some privacy concerns, the site now offers a restricted access depending on user's needs. Users can share pictures and send scraps of messages to maintain existing relationships and build new ones.
One of the most popular online communities currently is Facebook which has a user base of over 59 million active users with this figure doubling every six months. The website offers an extremely comprehensive coverage of activities and communities that people can join. Applications can be attached to personalized pages and contests can be held through these applications with other users.
Manhunt is an online social network for gay men. It gives an opportunity for men to meet other men online, date them and to get to know them better. Men can post their pictures and information which other people can search and find the ones with similar interests. The website has seen an increasing number of men posting nude pictures and vulgar messages.
Match.com was formed in 1995 with the purpose of giving men and women chances to meet their matches online. It's an