Keywords: Participation, community creation, research context
Virtual communities can form around decidedly physical events and processes. This study focuses on research conducted online to understand the sending and receiving of mail and packages. This experience afforded a chance to reflect on community at several levels and from different points of view. One aspect involved the researcher's experience in moving between the communitiesbeginning as a lurker on open forums to understand the landscape of issues discussed, moving to a community member, and then "creating" a community of diary participants. Another aspect was that of the community member moving between contextsof online and offline activity, as well as online community participation versus online research participation.