The  social  sustainability  of any community  technology activity  is dependent on whether or not it forms an integral part of, and contributes to, the shared experiences that  constitute community life. Drawing from this premise the paper presents a human-centred exploration of  community informatics (CI) by proposing that, as a field of study and practice, a central goal should be to develop shared understandings of  ways in which ICT contribute to building and sustaining active and healthy communities. The diversity of community ICT practices   have the potential to contribute to a collective knowledgebase that is not only of import as a resource for academic investigation but  also in terms of its broader social significance to community life. With this in mind, the authors analyse and critically evaluate the significance of the emerging symbiosis between community technology and community research.  Applying a human-centred perspective of CI to a community technology research and development project the paper concludes with a story about Black Elk, a Lakota shaman, as a metaphor for the relationship between community technology  and community research.