Bringing politics into online communities...
January 27, 2004
I should start off with a round of apologies. It has now been well over a full month since I last posted to Everything in Moderation. This is far from my initial aspirations for the site and hopefully I'll be able to get back into a more regular schedule over the months to come. The other confession I have is that I've accidentally been writing about online community management over on my other weblog. If you're interested in online community management, then I'd recommend reading On Fires, String Quartets and the New Politics of Online Communities, which is an attempt by me to articulate some basic ideas about how to create functioning communities online that can self-organise in ways analogous to offline political activity. There's an awful lot more of this stuff I that I'd like to be able to get into at some point, but now is not the time. Here's a quote from the (short) article to whet your appetite:
Lesson one: the thing that keeps groups together can be a mutual passion, but a mutual activity will bring them together even more strongly. Lesson two: that intensively creative groups seem to be necessarily relatively small. And that's because - lesson three - there will always be tensions and forces within groups that will try to push them apart from one another. And here's where social software comes in to the fore - because lesson four is that those tensions can almost always be ameliorated or even totally removed by the careful implementation of mechanisms that institute some form of process, some kind of system - or even some kind of politics.