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Perhaps you know this, but I was sad to read that Mel Webber died Nov 25,
2006. Whom, many of you may ask, was Mel Webber. In my case, a major
source of my intellectual capital. Mel's early articles -- "Order in
Diversity: Community without Propinquity" (1963) and "The Urban Place and
the Nonplace Urban Realm" (1964) stimulated my work on non-local
community. As ever, Chuck Tilly pointed me to them. Their ideas were
fruitful, and live on today, in both community studies' work on nonlocal
community and in research into online communities. Mel headed the
Institute for Urban and Regional Development at Berkeley for many years,
and I was delighted to meet -- and thank him -- when Claude Fischer
sponsored my sabbatical stay there in 1986. There's a fine tribute issue
of _Access_ magazine (which he edited), Special Issue 2006-2007, available
for free from the Univ of California Transportation Center (
As one author points out, Mel also brought Manuel Castells into IURD, and
obviously percolated ideas with him which emerged in _The Network

It's a tribute to the impact of Mel's ideas, that I am posting this to the
community, communications & technologies, and social networks list.

Final thought. On the last day of his life, sent a good-bye email to his
friends and colleagues. Good-bye, Mel.

 Barry Wellman

  Barry Wellman   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology   NetLab Director
  Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
  wellman at
            For fun -- updating songs, movies and history:
            Elvis wouldn't be singing Return to Sender now

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