Though the internet part of this story started with an email call for help, the evolving network of web pages was instrumental in forming a lasting presence that could sustain existing connections. In other cases of using the web for forming social communities, things might be ordered differently, say, starting with web pages and then looking for input and volunteers to help "fill the gaps." First links, then email.
I leave to you to count the kinds of "integration" happening in these examples. And encourage us all to think about hypermedia's role in this, the underreported (and undervalued) side of the internet.