UPDATED 11:25 EDT / MARCH 14 2009

Blogging Lost Its Social Edge – How To View Communities – Worth Reading If Involved in Communities

I launched SiliconAngle two weeks ago to see what could happen with my social graph and friends.  So this article on the dynamics of a community caught my attention. Then reading it it became clear that this article titled “Attack From Within” was very well written and informative.  If your into social media you might find this article helpful or at least thought provoking.  For me it’s important because I believe in group teaming relative to blogging and social media.

Blogging today in technology isn’t social, but instead downright ugly.  In the end the quality of content suffers, but more importantly the ‘tech society’ suffers.  This new medium isn’t about disclosures or any other bullshit that pops up on Bitchmeme Friday.  It’s about quality – Quality people, quality conversations, quality content, quality output.

Here is the exec summary from the post on dynamics of communities today.

Traditional methods for protecting community from the effects of scale and poor behavior are now manifestly unfeasible. Raising barriers to entry, relying on the assumption that users will maintain only one registered account, and placing faith in the ability of admins and user moderation to reproduce a forum’s organic culture are all easily circumvented, gamed, and/or ineffective when faced with the problems of scale. Moreover, they tend to reinforce self-destructive behaviors, by increasing returns to the most persistent rather than the most constructive, reinforcing groupthink, and providing ample targets for trolling and griefing.

This article attempts to fundamentally rethink what constitutes community and society on the web, and what possibilities exist for their maintenance and reconstruction in the face of scale and malicious users. The recommendations reached, after analyzing the weaknesses of the web forums we all know and love, are:

  • User anonymity should be forced.
  • Barriers to participation should be as low as possible.
  • Moderation should not focus on users or on comments in isolation, but on the relational quality of comments.
  • Passive moderation filters can mitigate problems of scale.
  • Preservation of community must shift from being based on exclusion to being based on demonstrated constructive interaction.
  • Forums should discriminate between content types: original content, links, and personal content.
  • Story promotion and front page position should be driven by conversation, not voting.

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