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112 comments

Online communities (-1)

Sir Bard (605512) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521083)

EQ, DAOC

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521097)

w00t

penis! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521109)

Toys R us!

Forgotten link (3, Funny)

Troed (102527) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521116)

The submitter forgot to link to one of the sites mentioned.


slashdot [slashdot.org]

Re:Forgotten link (0, Funny)

hashinclude (192717) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521201)

Oh, so we now (mindlessly) slashdot [slashdot.org] shashdot [slashdot.org] ? poor slashdot [slashdot.org] . That too in the first (visible) post? Honestly, I ask you. Poor slashdot [slashdot.org] .

Couldn't you give slashdot [slashdot.org] a bit of relief?

Re:Forgotten link (0, Offtopic)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521252)

dude, STOP!! You're going to slashdot slashdot

--csb

Re:Forgotten link (0)

God! Awful (181117) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521328)


Oh, so we now (mindlessly) slashdot [slashdot.org] shashdot [slashdot.org]? poor slashdot [slashdot.org]. That too in the first (visible) post? Honestly, I ask you. Poor slashdot [slashdot.org].

This is ridiculous. Someone smurf me a smurf.

-a

Re:Forgotten link (2)

flippet (582344) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521400)

So get Slashdot to cache everything they link to! Like, duh... :)

Phil, just me

Re:Forgotten link (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521375)

Finally we shall see how slashdot stands up to being linked to by slashdot. Only time will tell if it to suffers the poor slashdot effect.

Re:Forgotten link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521456)

The author also neglected to write about Affero [affero.com] . It's one of the most innovative commercial ideas ever to come to virtual communities.

Re:Forgotten link (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4525034)

Sad, kid. Sad.

The Palestinian "resistance" is the Ku Klux Klan with a better press agent: Same racist ideology, same methods (but more violent). The KKK lost its little war for ethnic cleansing, too. The KKK is less powerful than the US government. Does that make the Klan's cause just? No. Losing doesn't make you a "good guy". The UN partitioned Mandatory Palestine because far too many Arabs in that part of the world refused to live in peace with anybody but other Arabs. Far too many of them still refuse.

Simply put .. well said. (5, Insightful)

shri (17709) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521122)

>> Regular users will develop a sense of community ownership. As a whole, their content contributions probably outweigh yours.

This has to be one of the facts that I've had to face, going into my third community site. You create and direct when the community is starting up. Once its established, your role becomes more understated and less direct. You guide and influence. You don't direct.

Re:Simply put .. well said. (2, Insightful)

flewp (458359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521345)

I personally thought the whole article was simple and well said. However, I also think it was mostly all too obvious. It's actually quite boring and not that interesting, as most of it is common sense.

Re:Simply put .. well said. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4522374)

Sometimes people need to be reminded of the obvious, and I meet a lot of people without much common sense.

Re:Simply put .. well said. (1, Redundant)

Slaveway (562761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521540)

This has to be one of the facts that I've had to face, going into my third community site. You create and direct when the community is starting up. Once its established, your role becomes more understated and less direct. You guide and influence. You don't direct.
I too came to this realization operating my online community.

I try to quide and set the groundrules but let it operate as the community sees fit.
http://www.slaveway.com

Woohoo! (4, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521124)

"Cultivate a community, and you'll attract eyeballs and ears.." Sweet! Just what I need to expand my eyeball collection!

Forgot a link... (5, Funny)

krugdm (322700) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521129)

It pulls together several thoughts gathered from observing sites like Slashdot, Everything2 [everything2.com] , and Perl Monks [perlmonks.org] ."

Here's the link to Slashdot [slashdot.org] for anyone that needs it...

Re:Forgot a link... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521154)

Wow thanks, I would never have guessed.

Re:Forgot a link... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521360)

Here's the Google cache in case it gets slashdotted. [216.239.37.100]

Re:Forgot a link... (1)

junklight (183583) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521790)

In what world is this "joke" +5 funny.

Oh - on slashdot

*groan*

Re:Forgot a link... (3, Funny)

Ektanoor (9949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522172)

You people didn't catch it... The guy was afraid that the site could go down in one more of these terrible /. effects

Slashdot Haiku (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521139)

Many dupe stories.

Does a spell-checker exist?

Karma whores abound!

Community (5, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521140)

Although it isn't really a community, Slashdot does serve a very important purpose.

Many, if not all of the people here are socially not too great at real in front of people communication. They feel too much of an urge to speak quickly, making them say embarrasing or stupid things. The addition of a keyboard and a delay slow down the communication and allow us to speak our minds.

Without the likes of Slashdot, whole swathes of youngsters would be unable to comunicate at all, and would be unable to fit in, and would end up jumping off a bridge. So online community saves lives.

Re:Community (-1, Offtopic)

D4M4DH477X0R (548464) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521177)

Yeah i'm sure alot of young lives have been saved by them getting "First Post" or imagining a beowulf cluster of something.

Re:Community (-1)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521273)

Without the likes of Slashdot, whole swathes of youngsters would be unable to comunicate at all, and would be unable to fit in, and would end up jumping off a bridge. So online community saves lives.
Hm... but is it a good thing?

Re:Community (0, Flamebait)

flewp (458359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521285)

Well, the article mentions "cultivating a community".
With slashdot however, it's cultivating a colony. A bacterial colony.

Re:Community (5, Funny)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521361)

Without the likes of Slashdot, whole swathes of youngsters would be unable to comunicate at all, and would be unable to fit in, and would end up jumping off a bridge.

Well these days most bridges are only 1U high, so they're not likely to come to much harm.

Re:Community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521953)

My monitor doesn't like you right now. It didn't want the coffee. hehe.

Re:Community (3, Interesting)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521412)

Although it isn't really a community

Eh... I don't think so. Not anymore with the advent of the zoo.pl. I mean, just look at the Fort Knox community [slashdot.org] : about a hundred or so people within two or three degrees of separation of Fort Knox. Most of us folks now spend most of our time cruizing the journal circuit instead of the redundant discussion topics. It is a much more personal and thus a community experience.

Maybe an Anti-community? (5, Insightful)

Gerry Gleason (609985) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522028)

Or maybe in keeping with the theme from that paper about Postmodern programming, we could call it a postmodern community.

At first, I was going to respond to the grandparent to say that /. is a community, but on further reflection, I think I would say it is both. You can read /. for interesting links and such and never really see or experience the community aspects. Or you can skip the headlines, and 'cruze the journal circuit' as you suggest.

Clearly there is a lot of diversity of opinion, although moderation tends to reward certain viewpoints closer to the center of the bell curve. The community values as expressed through moderation are not mainstream, and I would say it is defined by a high level of tech knowledge, but I wouldn't say it is fringe.

I love /. because it has a similar feel to netnews in the early days, and the moderation tends to push the trolls and flames further away. It's also pretty clear that most slashdotters have not been around since those early days, so they might not even know what I'm talking about here, but they have the same in-your-face, prove-your-assertion attitudes that were present all along. That's what is cool about it, it bridges between generations of hackers. Some came of age after HTTP and HTML revolutionized the technology of online community, and others were part of the hobbie computer movement that started it all. Moderation means I don't spend nearly as much time reading through BS arguments and other drivel as the old days (essential since the wider ready of the modern internet means even more people who would disrupt things just for attention).

Re:Community (2, Funny)

archetypeone (599370) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521982)

What's the difference between an introverted and an extroverted Computer Geek?

An extroverted Computer Geek looks at YOUR shoes.

slow down cowboy! (5, Interesting)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522341)

They feel too much of an urge to speak quickly, making them say embarrasing or stupid things. The addition of a keyboard and a delay slow down the communication and allow us to speak our minds.

it doesn't slow a lot of people down enough. if you are building an online community, i would emphasize the art of not posting unless you have something significant to contribute.

unfortunately, i find that many people on slashdot are so eager to prove their intelligence, they plunge headlong threads they know nothing about, providing "facts" that they half-remember from another slashdot thread posted months ago. (yes, haven't we all been guilty of this).

the off-topic moderation is also not used nearly enough. i have seen threads with hundreds of responses (many modded up to +3 or more) that started when one person made an incongruous computer/car metaphor, and then another one decided to correct him with his own incongruous metaphor. Finally, the thread degenerates into Ford vs. Chevy.

moderation in general is less a measure of the "quality" of a post and more about tone. sound authoritative, you'll get the mods +. sound unsure or angry, and you'll get the mods -.

now i don't mean to whine too much about this, but come on. i can't read about some new PDA because someone decided to make an inappropriate comment about how a palm pilot is like a ford festiva and an iPaq is like a gran turino. the lameness filter probably can't get smart enough to catch those.

the "zoo" doesn't help much either, because someone who makes a boneheaded comments in a discussion about PDAs might be the world's biggest genius when it comes to embedded devices-marking him as a foe might cause me to miss something that actually is in fact, "+1 informative".

what's the solution for this? currently i read at -1, and make my own choices. But-in order to provide the best online community possible, i propose that slashdot extend the "2-post a day rule" that it currently exercises on low-karma posters to everyone. this would gently encourage the experts to save up their posts for a topic where they could truly educate others.

think about it won't you? thanks.

Re:slow down cowboy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4522961)

not posting unless you have something significant to contribute
Please [slashdot.org] take [slashdot.org] your own [slashdot.org] advice [slashdot.org] .

Re:slow down cowboy! (2)

Jack William Bell (84469) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523269)

Heh...

I have 3 moderation points left and I was *so* tempted to burn one by moderating your post as 'offtopic'. Just to prove you wrong.

Jack William Bell

Re:slow down cowboy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4523287)

LOL

as the dour AC before you remarked-i have the same problem! but where else am i gonna bring it up? ;)

Re:slow down cowboy! (2)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523942)

Personally, I just lurk when it's a topic I don't know about and I may post a lot when it's something I do know about. So some days I don't post at all, and other days I post several times, depending on the content. Your idea would limit my ability to post intelligently and potentially increase the amount of pseudo-intelligent posts from people trying to get karma in a limited amount of time.

Perhaps a banked number of posts based on karma and time spent as a member would be a better solution... if I don't post for a week, I shouldn't lose those posts, although they would have to expire eventually to prevent crapfloods.

Just an idea, I haven't really put much thought into it.

Political sites have been doing this (5, Insightful)

AppyPappy (64817) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521142)

For quite a while. FreRepublic [freerepublic.com] and DemUnderground [www.democr...nderground] have been around for a while. FR since 1997 anyway.

And let's not even harken back to the BBS days. They were much more community-like from messaging to games. If you want to build a community, it takes lots of time. Lots of time.

Re:Political sites have been doing this (3, Interesting)

AppyPappy (64817) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521705)

Democrat Underground is Here [democratunderground.com]

Food for thought (5, Interesting)

CaptainAlbert (162776) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521148)

Mostly obvious, but mostly good.

It would have been nice to see more said on the topic of anonymous posting though. The number of times you see AC posts on slashdot which are people with "real" accounts talking about their employers (for example)... this didn't even get a mention.

But I liked:

> Discuss the Community Openly

If I say this is a good idea, do I get $rtbled? :)

Re:Food for thought (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523650)

You're right -- leaving out the idea of "anonymous posting for registered users" was a mistake. Thanks for bringing it up.

For what it's worth, I've talked to Rob and Jeff both that more open and regular discussion of Slashdot itself would alleviate a lot of concerns. Rob seems pretty happy with the journal system taking on some of this load, though.

Surprising (4, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521149)

"Community members will continually surprise you, especially if you've never really analyzed an online community before."
Well, I know here on /. they're always surprising me. I mean, where else can you get up to the minute news on the death of BSD, and the death of Stephen King?

Re:Surprising (-1, Offtopic)

D4M4DH477X0R (548464) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521199)

And the latest in Beowulf ideas?

Imagin a beowulf cluster of slashdots!

Re:Surprising (2)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524432)

Imagine the chaos in troll-land if Stephen King outlasts BSD.

community ??????? (-1, Troll)

selderrr (523988) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521150)

slashdot, a community ?!?!?!?!?!!!!??????


since when is a bunch of individualist wanking geeks a community ? It's not because we have a common interest in tech and CmdrTaco's sexlife that we're a fucking^H^H^H^H^H^Hcelibatarian community !

What??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521174)

Wait a minute. Both BSD and Stephen King are dead? Geez. I don't even think the great Kreskin could have predicted this.

Users will surprise you... (5, Funny)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521152)

Community members will continually surprise you, especially if you've never really analyzed an online community before.

Translation: If you're a newbie, you will get flamed

The issues and themes you find important may never really resonate with your users. They'll latch onto and chase down ideas you've never found important or even knew existed.

Trans: you may still be a loser even if you run a successful weblog, or more mildly, there is always someone who knows more than you about how some random chip inside some old hardware REALLY works.

They'll also tend to develop some strange characteristics.

Trans: like first post, links to prOn, and the like...

Not everyone will exhibit every behavior, but these are general trends in every community I've observed.

Trans: there are some people who put a lot of thought into what they say. Thanks be to God/Allah/Buddha/Krishna/The TCP/IP stack/etc...

Re:Users will surprise you... (4, Funny)

Asprin (545477) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521591)


They'll also tend to develop some strange characteristics.

Trans: like first post, links to prOn, and the like...

GEEZ - IT'S "pr0n", NOT "prOn"!!! GET IT RIGHT you flippin' newbie freak wannabe!!! It's not that isn't in the FAQ or anything!

Re:Users will surprise you... (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522163)

I'm not a newbie. Maybe I am a wannabe, I think a lot of us are. I'm just not as subtle as I ought to be sometimes. I could, on this particular point, care less about whether it is pr0n or prOn, I think it's more indicative of your need to show me up as a loser than anything else. Maybe I am a loser, but it takes one to know one.

Re:Users will surprise you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4523444)

Jeez, you sure don't have a sense of humor.

Re:Users will surprise you... (2)

Asprin (545477) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523525)

Relax.

It was a lame attempt at ironic humor. I was actually quite proud of it until I realized I hadn't included the standard disclaimer to that effect. (Of course, that was *after* clicking 'submit'....)

Re:Users will surprise you... (2, Insightful)

greenhide (597777) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521822)

Funny, I have never been in the need of a translator from English to English. I always sort of understood it the first time.

Gosh, I really hope you were intending this to be a funny post, because otherwise you're just being an ass and not really looking at the article in its true context:

He's talking about a site-creator's experience with users, so most of your translations don't make sense.

Community members will continually surprise you, especially if you've never really analyzed an online community before.

Translation: If you're a newbie, you will get flamed


How about, "Just like in real life, people's behaviors are not always what you would expect. And if you haven't been analyzing what has happened to other online communities, then you will be even more surprised by their behaviors." Maybe the surprise will be that your site becomes the first place people go to in the morning, and becomes so successful just by word of mouth that one morning when their is a big news event (i.e., 9/11), your server becomes totally overloaded. Maybe the surprise will be that two members of your online community fall in love, get married, and invite the whole community to their wedding party.

The issues and themes you find important may never really resonate with your users. They'll latch onto and chase down ideas you've never found important or even knew existed.

Trans: you may still be a loser even if you run a successful weblog, or more mildly, there is always someone who knows more than you about how some random chip inside some old hardware REALLY works.


How about: "Users may have different agendas, motivations, or purposes in visiting your site than you had in mind. Thus, while you online community may have at one point been geared towards just promoting Open Source software, you may find that someone starts complaining about security problems they are having with Windoze, and your site suddenly becomes a #1 resource for people to discuss and fix security problems with Windows, and it become the most discussed topic on your site.

I think your mistake here was assuming that because two people have different interests, one is a dork with serious brain damage, and the other is a supergod hacker who thinks programming in Assembly is taking the easy way out.

They'll also tend to develop some strange characteristics.

Trans: like first post, links to prOn, and the like...


This is where you get closest. First Posts are definitely one of the "strange characteristics" of Slashdot. I don't think links to porn are a strange characteristic, any more than some guy who's drunk too much puking in the street is a "strange characteristic" of a college town. It's not a particularly pleasant part of the community, but it doesn't represent a community "flavor". Generally, people who post links to porn aren't users in the usual sense. They're spammers who go to every community site that allows anonymous posts and put up links to their sites. Thus, they're not really "users" of the community, although they are users of the site. I'd say examples of "strange characteristics" on Slashdot include the contents of people's sig files, the proliferation of "Funny" comments, and an obsession with putting random links everywhere [aol.com] . Also, let's not forget Karma Whoring..

Not everyone will exhibit every behavior, but these are general trends in every community I've observed.

Trans: there are some people who put a lot of thought into what they say. Thanks be to God/Allah/Buddha/Krishna/The TCP/IP stack/etc...


How about: Some people won't surprise you. Or they will surprise you somewhat, but the issues you find important will resonate with them. Etc., etc. Basically, this is one of those "I'm covering my ass" sentences. He doesn't want to sound like users will always behave the way he has described, so he's allowing for other possibilities too. A lengthened YMMV.

Re:Users will surprise you... (2, Interesting)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522444)

First of all, thankyou for having taken the time to write such a long comment. It is indeed people like you who really putting me down (and picking me up to respond) when I make a post that is a bit off the regular level of intellect necessary. I tend to write off-the-hip, and yes, maybe I am a wannabe. The people who are happy to put me down over stereotypes and by writing one line like the other reply to this post really annoy me, whereas constructive and to the point criticism is really what I would like to incite, if I can't incite laughter and "Funny" mod points. The strange thing is, a simple, easy joke can get +5 Funny where something that tries and fails to go one level deeper gets derided.

Gosh, I really hope you were intending this to be a funny post, because otherwise you're just being an ass and not really looking at the article in its true context:

I was hoping it would be funny, I can't believe at this moment that it is modded as +4 insightful. I think that is purely due to the phenomenon that I managed to post reasonably quickly. Indeed, if you are karma whoring you do need to get in quick - but it's not just about karma points. It's about being seen. If you take too long to post something and really think about it, you are less likely to get read than if you send a halfbaked joke idea which you haven't properly developed. That's what Slashdot is really about - it mirrors real life. You have to shout louder and earlier than everyone else to be noticed, but the true geniuses are the ones who quietly work in a corner and have less need for recognition. Their time will come.

He's talking about a site-creator's experience with users, so most of your translations don't make sense.

Fair point. You got me there. I did shift the perspective towards site users, rather than the creators. Appealing, perhaps, to those people who use mod points up immediately on new articles rather than properly searching posts for the true insights. That's why your comment, which deserves points, didn't get modded up yet, whereas my less worthy post did. Perhaps a delay in mod points for the first few posts might help even that out - until a threshold of a number of posts is reached, do not apply mod points. Sure, the disadvantage is that many mod points would be "wasted" on modding up articles that already have 5 points, but it would give more chance for the cream to rise to the top from those people who might have a bit more time to type something more intelligent. Indeed if you sort by the number of points, the DB could remember those who got modded up much more and put them up at the top, overriding the chronological fallback for posts with equal points. That would probably change my attitude to posting for the better.

Maybe the surprise will be that your site becomes the first place people go to in the morning, and becomes so successful just by word of mouth that one morning when their is a big news event (i.e., 9/11), your server becomes totally overloaded. Maybe the surprise will be that two members of your online community fall in love, get married, and invite the whole community to their wedding party.

You're dead right here. Somehow the sum of the parts becomes bigger than the whole. Lots of people I meet in IT see me surfing slashdot and have a "wow... that's what I do each lunctime, too" kneejerk reaction. I'm not quite so sure how people then make a link to really feeling like the readers are part of a community where they then feel like inviting them to their wedding, at least for Slashdot.

I think your mistake here was assuming that because two people have different interests, one is a dork with serious brain damage, and the other is a supergod hacker who thinks programming in Assembly is taking the easy way out.

I think you're using hyperbole to prove your point here. I didn't really suggest that. What I'm trying (badly) to get at is that even the leaders in a particular field can suddenly be surprised by peer review - a guy in India with a minimal "classic" education has really done his research, and his post back to you suddenly makes you feel very small. This is a wonderful effect of Slashdot.

This is where you get closest. First Posts are definitely one of the "strange characteristics" of Slashdot.

At least you're not going to hammer everything I said then :)

I'd say examples of "strange characteristics" on Slashdot include the contents of people's sig files, the proliferation of "Funny" comments, and an obsession with putting random links everywhere [aol.com]. Also, let's not forget Karma Whoring..

As I have already touched upon before, Karma Whoring is much more complex than just hitting the 50 point barrier. This is why I think Karma: Excellent is not improving things in this department. The point is that you have to be fast to get seen, and if you come in too late but have something very valid to say, and can put it properly too, then you are not going to get seen. I have already admitted that I am a wannabe, I think we all are. We need to be seen and read, because we feel that we have something valid and important to say (at least sometimes) but can fall back to a "points rush" on a slow afternoon when there's a nagging problem to fix on a server someplace but the motivation just isn't there yet.

For the last point, "cover my ass" phrases are those that I get most bad reactions from. Hence putting it in my sig. It takes time to craft language into the true nature of your thoughts, indeed even a well written piece doesn't get beyond scratching the surface of what you're really thinking. And the same goes for some things which are so clearly ironic for me (I really cannot imagine anyone being so dumb as to truly believe some of the things I type) that I am shocked by people's replies letting me know how dumb I must be.

All in all, cheers for replying. I appreciate that more than all the mod points I have ever got.

Re:Users will surprise you... (2)

forged (206127) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522995)

  • Community members will continually surprise you

What cracks me up, most of the times, is the variations that said users make with first post. Froszt pist, forst piss, etc.

Until this feels redundant, which is when you carry on reading everything nested, threshold +3.

SNIPER was a NIGGER (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521153)

Did anyone ever think it WAS NOT a member of one of the lower MUDRACES?

Any realistic PATRIOTIC WHITE MAN should know better now than to trust a filthy NIGGER.

Online Communities and OpenACS (5, Informative)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521160)

For anyone interested, this months Linux Journal has an article on OpenACS (page 12) which reads, in part:

"It's easy to say that OpenACS is a toolkit for creating on-line communities. But what does that mean? For starters, it means that OpenACS comes with working versions of most of the applications you're likely to want on a community web site. It handles user registration and administration, forums, FAQs, group (including a rich permission scheme), news updates, file storage and distribution, personal home pages, surveys and a we-based calendar. As you might expect from a modern system, administration of the application is done almost completely through the Web, with only a few configuration files."

From OpenACS' [openacs.org] frontpage:

WHAT is OpenACS?
OpenACS (Open Architecture Community System) is an advanced toolkit for building scalable, community-oriented web applications. If you're thinking of building an enterprise-level web application, OpenACS is a solid, proven foundation that will give you a 3-6 month headstart.

Study Too Deep (4, Funny)

BoBaBrain (215786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521173)

[Humour]

I'm not a professionally-trained sociologist, nor is this formal research. I do find my conclusions accurate, though.

Looks like he spent a little too much time on Slashdot. This is only one step away from
IANAL, but here's some legal advice...

[/Humour]

Re:Study Too Deep (5, Interesting)

Mahrin Skel (543633) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521381)

Sociology spent too long with nothing really new happening, 99% of the really important insights for the field were made 75 or more years ago. Since then it's been mostly mental masturbation and ancestor worship. This is just starting to change, as the internet has made the creation and dynamics of communities a way of doing experimental sociology (in the sense of developing disprovable theories).

Unfortunately, most sociologists are not prepared to take advantage of the opportunity. It's become such a "soft" science, so channelled into the idea that nothing can really be proven, and dependant on the advocacy model of academic discussion, that it's institutionally unprepared to switch gears and behave like a hard science.

There are exceptions, but they tend to be outsiders and young students. There's been some really interesting ideas coming from synthesis with network theory, and Nick Yee [nickyee.com] has done some really good work treating the populations of online games as subjects and doing comparative studies. But it's not yet being taken seriously by the greater community of sociology, which seems focused on finding ways to make the new tools give the old results.

--Dave

Oh not "building communities" again... (5, Funny)

gmezero (4448) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521191)

Why can't we make better use of the communities we already have? All this constant building new communities does nothing but add to the suburban sprawl that is already a blight on our landscape. ...oh wait... no, yeah. That's right...

FREE KEVIN!

Amen To That (1, Funny)

BoBaBrain (215786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521196)

The issues and themes you find important may never really resonate with your users. They'll latch onto and chase down ideas you've never found important or even knew existed.

E.g. Spelling, grammer, content, etc. etc. etc.

Re:Amen To That (-1, Offtopic)

monadicIO (602882) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521296)

E.g. Spelling, grammer, content, etc. etc. etc.

...as in grammAr?...

Re:Amen To That (1, Offtopic)

BoBaBrain (215786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521318)



:)

Re:Amen To That (3, Funny)

chrisos (186835) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521506)

E.g. Spelling, grammar, content, etc. etc. etc

saying ::= pot | verb | kettle | colour :D

uh (4, Insightful)

Sacarino (619753) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521219)

Is it just me, or does the article read like a HOWTO for acting like a civil human. I don't know about you folks, but I've long awaited such gems as... "Like any community, your group will have spats and factions and frictions. These must be handled wisely for the community to survive." or perhaps, "Community members will continually surprise you, especially if you've never really analyzed an online community before. The issues and themes you find important may never really resonate with your users." It could be just me, but doesn't this whole article boil down to people are different, so dont be a dick.. ?

Re:uh (4, Insightful)

n-baxley (103975) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521441)

people are different, so dont be a dick

Actually, I think that's a concept we all could hear more often. Maybe it would sink in.

Re:uh (1)

alucinacion (591954) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521680)

It could be just me, but doesn't this whole article boil down to people are different, so dont be a dick.. ?

I think this is a statement that alot of /. could learn from. It's amazing how many replies to peoples opinions are insults.

Apparently, the best way to have an intelligent conversation here and disagree with someone is to call them stupid, an idiot, or an hypocrite. Even more effective if combined with cuss words so as to gain mod points and make you appear "smart".

Re:uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4523476)

people are different, so dont be a dick

Yeah, you can also be a pussy if you want.

Re:uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4525074)

"yes, i am also not a pussy."

Office Space... good flick...

Oh, and you are a pussy by posting AC. :)

as am I.

Re:uh (1)

Sean Riordan (611520) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524756)

That is a HOWTO that a lot of people really ought to reread. Here on /. more so than many places. It would be very interesting to see the stats on AC posting if the average replies suddenly grew a bit of civility and courtesy. Personally I found it to be an interesting and well written article.

No Matter How Repulsive the Service (4, Insightful)

TooCynical (323240) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521223)

Community seems to hold it together.

Community is the same reason that people stick with services that suck (AOL) - they build relationships, and while they may actually grow, in knowledge, past the use of a specific service they still maintain the service in many cases because of the warm fuzzy feeling that community provides.

Secondly would be the community of reliance types of organzations - Ebay - where people rely on seller and buyer ratings as much as anything else to feel comfortable making a purchase in an environment that is otherwise risky.

R

Re:No Matter How Repulsive the Service (2)

imr (106517) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521364)

Yes, it's because communauty arent build. They are born. They live and grow.
people stick with services that suck
they can die too.

How can you forget eBay? (4, Funny)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521275)



You left out the eBay Community! [ebay.com]

Maybe you should read the book [barnesandnoble.com] about eBay.

Re:How can you forget eBay? (2)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524414)

Maybe you should read the book [barnesandnoble.com] about eBay.
Eh, I'll wait until it's available on eBay.

FIRST BRITISH POST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521319)

u is all gaylords.

innit.

Community Moderation. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521369)

It is interesting when you post a message and read the moderation to see the true views of the people. There are some moderators who will moderate up or down if they agree with the statement or not and there are other moterators that are more fair. Some interesting moderateration messages includes the following.

The Poster Beleaves in God (Even better if the poster admits that he is a practicing Roman Catholic) Insightful 3, Overated 1, Troll 1, Flame 1

Advantages of Windows, and sometimes Solaris over Linux. Instering 2, Insightful 1, Overated 3

Not liking PC Hardware and archecture. Insightful 2 Interesting 1, Troll 2, Flame 1

Python v. Perl or Perl v. Python. Interesting 1 Overated 1

So just like real comunities there are different point of views and an attempt to opress free speach even on slashdot. Wich makes it insterin to know that you can be a outcast amoung outcasts.

Hehe (2)

marko123 (131635) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521417)

It was a couple of years ago, but IIRC, Mr Katz did a loooong three parter on online communities. Or was it about geeks being left out of society? Geez. Here's a good example of why you shouldn't be too wordy. I can't friggin remember a thing he wrote about. And I read it. Take heed Louis Nowra!

PerlMonks (4, Interesting)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521440)

PerlMonks [perlmonks.com] is a fantastic way of showing how an online community can run. It makes /. look like a war zone. By turns it is funny, helpful, the XP system keeps people interested in posting and it allows everyone a degree of metamoderation past a certain XP level.


Now its been mentioned on /. that quite little backwater of perl lovers is in danger ;)

history.. yes ! (2)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521461)

Provide a way to address individual bits of history (messages, chat logs, event histories) in finely-grained units.

Yess Sir, we do it best at slashdot, all articles are repeated so we do not miss any history ;-)

Some bits may not be worth remembering (Slashdot posts that sink to -1)

OMG! here goes my KARMA, please moderators dont forget me!! boooohoooh

Nice article. (5, Informative)

krs-one (470715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521518)

If you notice my sig, you'll see that I run an online community dedicated to OpenGL programming (and the many facets thereof). I started the community back in March 2002, and I love it to no end. It's relatively small (especially compared to Slashdot), but its an awesome place to hang out and talk with other people interested in OpenGL, game programming, and Linux. Now, enough about my community, here are my ideas about the article.

Regular users will develop a sense of community ownership. As a whole, their content contributions probably outweigh yours...

This could not be more true. Running my site is a full time job (along with school). I rarely get to answer the questions that my members have. Luckily, I've recruited some top notch moderators who answer questions and keep the forums inline. If it weren't for them, members wouldn't come back. Adding to that, I must say also: a lot of your members will know more than you do! Get over it, learn from it. I'm only 18, and have had a limited time using OpenGL, whereas I have many professional programmers in my community. Most people love to help.

Besides letting community leaders and members perform administrative work (content production, content moderation, software development, content rating, the donation of hardware or bandwidth fees)...

This is crucial for a site to survive. At my site, we have tutorials. So far, I've written all but 3 of the tutorials. Tutorials, especially ones as long as mine, take a long time to write. One idea I thought up was to ask members to write tutorials. You'd be surprised how many members want to write tutorials and get work displayed, and on somebody elses website no less! If you need help paying for the site, set up a donation link (PayPal is easy, even with all of the warnings). Many members are willing to contribute something to the site, especially if they see it become something tangible (like prizes to a contest).

Encourage community archives. Provide a way to address individual bits of history (messages, chat logs, event histories) in finely-grained units.

This is a must. New members will want to research to see how the site came about, and things that occured during the sites lifetime. I think that people are very interested in history. They want to know about the past. Keeping archives is not very hard, especially if you can set up an automated system.

You will never please some users. A few will stick around only to see your next mistake. They tend to be vocal. Their pessimism doesn't make them wrong, but it can be grating.

Again, this is where moderators and other regulars to the site come in. When someone on the forums posts something degrading or offensive (yeah, sue me for censoring people, there are some things that are not appropriate for an OpenGL forum. I don't want my forum to be full of SPAM), the moderators immediately step in and either edit the post or delete it entirely. If a user is being particularly harsh, and I am not there to quell them, a moderator will say, "Hey, listen, Vic works his hardest on the site. He's not perfect, and he'll take care of you. Just have some patients." It's a very rewarding feeling when people want to help you with your site without pay. Occasionally, when I make a news post, I'll thank my moderators for their hard work so they know their work is appreciated.

Simplicity may appeal to some users. The lack of sophistication (reply notification, searching, revisions, and access controls) may put off some users, and an ugly or awkward user interface may get in the way sometimes, but a community can grow in spite of the mess.

This is very true. Thus, I approach my community two ways. There is the main news page, the main page of the site, and then there are the forums (similar to any message board you see now). The main page (and subsequent sub pages), are very simple. A DIV in the middle of the page is all that is needed for news. I use style sheets to control the data in there, and all in all, it comes out very nice. I am currently redesigning the main page to add a few more visual controls, but its still very basic. However, when you click on the Forums link, you go to the much more "complicated" forums. There, you can post messages, be alerted of replies, send private messages and email, search for past posts, etc. It doesn't hurt that my forums looks particularly nice. :)

Finally (I promise, this is my last point), you need something to keep repeat visitors. There must be a way for visitors to interact with the site. No one wants to just read news posts and view a few tutorials. When they are done, they won't come back (I feel this was an underlying assumption in the article, though). Two more ways to keep visitors: Contests! Yes, they cost money, but yes, people love them. Especially when they can get a free Radeon 9000 or 256MB of Crucial RAM (hint hint) from entering it. Even better: use the donations other members made for this. The second way is to give visitors free stuff without you having to pay for it. For example, anyone who is a member of the forums, have more than 10 posts, and contribute well to the community can have their own subdomain on the site (and an email address and a free MySQL database/PHP support). This is better than a lot of hosting plans. Members can use the subdomain to show off their work or write tutorials on a different facet of OpenGL. I require NO ads, but I casually suggest that if they want to link to me, I'd appreciate it.

Well, thats all about me and my online community experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

-Vic

Not all online communities are websites (4, Interesting)

TheTick (27208) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521522)

The internet (not just the web) allows minds separated by meatspace commune as if they were right next door. It is within this mindspace that communities emerge and evolve.

[I'm intrigued by the common root of commune, communicate, and community. It seems to me that an online community is, in many ways, a truer community than that which we generally think of as a community in meatspace.]

Although usenet (really an accretion of communities) is mentioned in the article, there are other entities, many predating the web, that are more communal than the typical web-based "online community". MUDs, MOOs and their ilk are particularly interesting not only because their members interact in something like real time, but also because the "reality" of the community is a consensual construct of the members themselves. Of course, I'm thinking more of the "building" aspects of M**s, than the "game" aspects.

I recommend this article [levity.com] for another examination of online communities.

OK, But Didn't Address Tough Issues (4, Insightful)

jck2000 (157192) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521580)

An OK read, but it was mostly obvious and did not get into the difficult issues of community building -- maintaining subject, tone, reputation and control without becoming unpleasantly authoritarian.

Slashdot does not present these issues in as acute a form as, for instance, a commercial product-users community site. One of the advantages Slashdot has as an online community is that it does not have much of an agenda -- sure, a large portion of the active participants are pro-Linux/anti-MS, vaguely libertarian, etc., but Slashdot itself is not trying to accomplish anything extrinsic to Slashdot and not trying to sell us anything (which is one of the things that makes it good).

Moreover, because of the overwhelmingly young-adult-male audience of Slashdot, there is little that can _really_ offend most people -- as much as we hate to accidently see or click through to the gentleman from the Christmas Islands, a stray repellent posting or link that gets past Slashcode is not going to cause large numbers of viewers to abandon Slashdot, write to Congress, think ill of Slashdot/OSDN/VA or boycott their products.

A commercial site (for instance, a company-sponsored owners group for a particular model auto), however, has more to lose from rude, disruptive or off-topic posts. Additionally, there are difficult issues that a commercial or agenda-oriented site must face -- how does one deal with dissent, with criticism of the product or agenda being promoted or with support of rival products or agenda?

Of course, one reaction (probably that of most Slashdotters) is to hell with those who are trying to exploit "community" to make sales, but I would guess that a good portion of the audience for chromatic's Slash book are interested in the commerce-oriented potential of communities.

Re:OK, But Didn't Address Tough Issues (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522048)

or boycott their products

Haven't people been boycotting VA products for years?

Worse than that.... (3, Insightful)

goliard (46585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523935)

An OK read, but it was mostly obvious and did not get into the difficult issues of community building -- maintaining subject, tone, reputation and control without becoming unpleasantly authoritarian.

Slashdot does not present these issues in as acute a form as, for instance, a commercial product-users community site.

Worse than that, the entire article presupposes open, public "communities". What if I want to do community-building within my place of employment? I certainly am unconcerned with attracting drive-by interest from the general public. What if I want to do community-building amongst my geographical neighbors? I actively want to discourage participation from people not in that demographic.

The rules of the game are very different when one isn't building a public community. Frankly, "closed" or "private" communities are a lot more "community-like", because they aren't a bunch of strangers, and often have shared resources and projects.

That is one crucial thing which he failed to mention at all: one of the reasons that Open Source project-based communities are so strong is that the members aren't just shooting the breeze, they actually have shared interests in a common good and project (e.g. the code they are working on). It is not totally necessary for a community to have a shared work, but it is a real boost.

Nor, for that matter does he differentiate between a vital "community site" and a vital "community". Consider all the argument about whether /. is a community. Clearly /. is a vital community site with an enormous amount of traffic. But it's not really much of a community in that, I think it is fair to say, most people here are unconcerned with the day-to-day lives of the other people here.

A big rolicking on-going discussion does not a community make. It's one part of the whole, and it may be the foundation on which a community can bloom, but a community is more than conversation.

Electronic (Educational) Communities Research (2, Interesting)

mcleland (620018) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521593)

Exist For a Reason

Some researchers are actively investigating online communities. At least ones where the reason for the community to exist is educational.
The Collaborative Software Laboratory [gatech.edu]
Electronic Learning Communities [gatech.edu]

I think the "reason to exist" for many communities is so members can learn from each other. Thus, this research should be widely applicable.

Disclaimer: I am a student at Georgia Tech, but not associated with either of these labs

More to it... (1)

Open_The_Box (620252) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523953)

...than that? I agree that many online communities exist for members to learn from each other. Even online gaming society members learn more about playing their favourite games. And slashdot is always very educational (well, it's taught me a lesson I won't forget in a hurry) ;) That's not to say they're just there for learning though - there's always the humans behind the posts who make it a community and not just an impersonal forum. Not being too slushy about it all, people join up and post replies and argue and make up and other people join in and argue and make up and argue again and... ...growth, evolution, with the occassional flame war thrown in for good measure. Online communities exist as outgrowths of real world communities but are based more on similar interests that similar geographical location. It's all very subjective but all the features we see in face to face interactions are there lurking below the surface. Sometimes being civilised is just another way of saying "Yeah, I know what you're saying." Or something.

Ah, chromatic (2, Funny)

I'm not a script (612110) | more than 11 years ago | (#4521602)

I have 4 words for you pal:
Get a real name !
How the fuck did oh'really ? publish your book under a nickname ?
That's what I wanna know.

Re:Ah, chromatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4521990)

real intelligent. this guy helped build perlmonks. he doesn't need more credentials.

Re:Ah, chromatic (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 11 years ago | (#4523716)

The real trick was getting them to uncapitalize it!

Users WILL suprise you!!! (5, Interesting)

mustangdavis (583344) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522015)

They'll latch onto and chase down ideas you've never found important or even knew existed.


This is an understatement!! I have been running an online gaming community (http://www.coldfirestudios.com [coldfirestudios.com] ) for the past 3 years, and I can honestly say that the games my friends and I create would not be nearly as good as they are today without the ideas and input we got from our users. Moral of the story: LISTEN TO YOUR USERS!! Sometimes, they know your product better than you do!

They'll also tend to develop some strange characteristics.


Tell me about it! I have one guy that called himself Pizza da Hutt ... he made a web site about his battles and used Star Wars analogizes in EVERYTHING he posted. Everyone he fought was Jedi (* fill in the blank *). We even had people looking up our company's phone number, just so they could say "Hi" to us by viewing our domain name registration information. We have a couple of users that call us, long distance, on a daily basis, just to report people breaking the rules or to see if some of us are going to be playing War Craft. But I can't complain too much. They keep us on our toes ... and they are not even half as bad as some of the everquest people I've seen :)

what other large communities? (1)

anjrober (150253) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522058)

I was just discussing this subject recently. Slashdot, that is, as an effective online community. Considering, it's got a huge reader base and no real specific topic, it's got an awfully effective S/N ratio. As online communities go, what are other, large, non-specific communities do people use? I follow a number of other communities, but all seem to be centered around a single topic, product, or theme. Does anyone follow a less technical, equally large and useful community?

Censorship (4, Insightful)

Reverend Raven (135361) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522086)

The problem I've found in online communities is censorship. In a community ran website like Everything2
(and even Slashdot, to a lesser degree), censorship is at the whim of the people in power. If they don't agree with what you say, most times you'll have your stuff cut, edited, or removed all together. I had this problem on E2 late last year, and I haven't been back since (A friend of mine logged onto my account to check something, but that wasn't me). I had an opinion that didn't mesh with what the editors of E2 believed, and I was cut as a result. Now in the issue of fairness, I want to point out that my node was about how George W. Bush is the rightful President. It was filled with evidence and fact, not speculation and conjure, but it was still yanked nonetheless. Why? Because the editor that k-lined it didn't agree with me, and they didn't want anyone else to read it and possibly side with me. I've gotten over it, as I said I haven't contributed or returned to E2 since the whole thing happened, but when you advertise a broad, diverse online community where ideas can thrive you must consider that not all the ideas will agree with you, and in the true spirit of open thought one should allow viewpoints from outside your method of thought. And from my experience most online communities don't allow that.

Re:Censorship (4, Interesting)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522325)

One thing you do have to keep in mind is the goal and purpose of the community. If you have a community dedicated to mechanisms of evolution, for instance, you might want to ban creationism in order to keep creation/evolution debating from disrupting the overall purpose of your community. I don't really see anything wrong with that (and I'm a creationist).

Now, I agree with you that if you have a community that's meant to be diverse, censorship in any form would definitely violate that principle. But some communities have more specialized purposes, and it might be valid to expect them to take steps to keep their communities on topic.

Get a second opinion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4522780)

Seriously. If it's that important to you, find an admin (member of the god usergroup) who (for preference) is a Republican (I think The Custodian, not sure), /msg them and ask them if it was justified or not.

If the writeup was actually worth it's salt, then it'll get restored.

As an aside, the editors get shuffled fairly regularly, so unless you know who it was and they're pretty high up, there's a chance that s/he's no longer an editor. Nukes get checked by admins.

A weblog does not a community make... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4522546)

...and there have been other much tighter online communities. The Well springs to mind.

I guess the problem is the signal to noise ratio...or rather the interesting info to RMS/MSFT rant ratio.

Common Oversite? (4, Interesting)

phil-is-math (602835) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522637)

What I don't get is in all this talk of Online Communities there is never a refrence to the very real affect they *could* have in offline communication and community building. Slashdot, may or may not provide and example for this. As far as I know there are no real offline communities of slashdot readers? Maybe a LUG or something. There is great potential in bringing together people, who live in the same area and have the same agendas, with online communities. I think people are seeing the internet way to globally, and not realizing it can be used locally. I've been involved in communities with both an online and offline aspect. The effect is immeasurable, you see the users having a GREAT sense of ownership and accountablity for their actions. Comments made in forums are often catalyst for real world events. Good and Bad. People are connecting in ways that they never could. Constently. The growth and progress of a community is logged through the online aspects, every user builds the history of the movement/group/whatever with their comments. New persons to a geographical area, can ease into the community, as they have the not so duanting option of just posting on a message board! Maybe it's b/c geeks would prefer to sit at a keyboard .. but I don't believe that stereotype. Look at the growth of the LAN party phenomenon. Online community with games and IRC, offline events to bring together that community. It's a simple concept that could be applied anywere, but isn't. I believe we can harness this power in every aspect of society. Then will we be using the internet to it's potential. I'm extremely interested in this topic these days actually. If you can point me in the direction of material or would like to explore this idea with me. Feel free to contact me.

Yes, but, what about wikis? (2, Insightful)

xof (518138) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522657)

Well, slash is good and I am a slashdot addict. But I prefer wikis [google.com] to build something together.

In "The Wiki Way: Collaboration and Sharing on the Internet" [amazon.com] , Bo Leuf and Ward Cunningham (c2.com) describe two ways of interacting in a wiki : content pages (as found on wikipedia [wikipedia.com] ) and discussion threads (there are many of them on MeatballWiki [usemod.com] ).

Most wireless communities [personaltelco.net] use wikis. And it is fun! :-)

But, I agree, ...it is another book. ;-)

brevity is the soul of wit... (2, Informative)

duckHole (562897) | more than 11 years ago | (#4522902)

which would make your 2-pager much wittier than Derek Powazek's "Design for Community [designforcommunity.com] ",which i also liked. he covers much the same territory and reaches similar conclusions...

A strong community can overcome technical limitations. It's possible to write a Wiki or a weblog in under a hundred lines of code. Simplicity may appeal to some users. The lack of sophistication (reply notification, searching, revisions, and access controls) may put off some users, and an ugly or awkward user interface may get in the way sometimes, but a community can grow in spite of the mess.

& th thing i have to remember is that different users have different perceptions of what's complex or not... so that the user interface becomes a filter for the type of user a site will draw. black pages, obscure icons and no text labels will appeal to certain folks--among other things, it lets members know they're cool because they're web-savy enough to figure it out. so the techne carries content just like the wording on the homepage...

Well done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4522945)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

chromatic, i read and enjoyed your article - very well written, very informative.

'If possible, avoid giving the impression that the rules are a game. People like to push the boundaries, and some users only participate to provoke responses in others. Constantly changing the invisible rules under the hood may, if this leads to visible effects for normal users, lead some users to experiment to find and to exploit the actual rules. Apply the rules consistently and calmly and you will remove many psychological rewards for deliberate infractions.'

this is probably the most tightly condensed kernel of truth wrt online communities i have ever read. it bears repeating, often, until the point sinks home.

speaking as someone who actually spent time extending slashdot's documentation [slashdot.org] , i hear a lot of where you're coming from.

have you considered reposting your article in your journal? (-:

- -s.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: i am sllort [slashdot.org] and i post AC [slashdot.org]

iD8DBQE9t+YoKpz2COjVE3YRAiOnAJ9xmtui6tLBpYzpeJhr EG D8/NypZACfZpFa
+lW3+Pp4kttPBs3QNjfQdMg=
=gkkB
- ----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

And who might this be? (3, Interesting)

Malcs (95091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524054)

As the builder of towerofbabel.com [towerofbabel.com] , I think the most fascinating thing about building an online community is that it's like throwing a party and not knowing who is on the invite list, let alone who is going to show up. It completely short circuits every societally sanctioned way of meeting people and really cuts to the chase when you're looking for interesting and intelligent conversation. Of course it helps if you have a wealth of good content as a base for the community. It just goes to reiterate the quote that a neighbor is not a geographic term, it's a moral term.

Great Way to build a community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524096)

Get a story posted on slashdot with a link to your site. Instant community!

Oh speaking of... MyGeekdom.com [mygeekdom.com] . There! Now maybe I'll get some community too.

Ya want community... (0, Offtopic)

Papatoast (245525) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524615)

The Blender Community ROCKS!! It gathered itself up by the bootstraps and saved one outrageously cool 3D render engine!

Check out www.blender.org and www.blender3d.com
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