Chuq on Groups

Over at Plaidworks , Chuq talks about what destroys groups and communities. The only thing I can really say is “ditto”.

I know what Chuq and Tom are talking about. I’ve been involved with many groups and communities over the years. Some have fallen apart by getting too big, or losing focus, or simply because they‘ve outlived their natural lifespans. But others have been torn apart by the destructive idiocy of only one or two poisonous toads.

Chuq says “Trolls don’t scale.” I don’t quite agree with that statement. The effect of odious twits seems, however, to follow some sort of power rule, rather than scaling linearly. One bullying little weasel is bad, two are ten times as bad.

Is there any way for a community to protect itself? In real life, yes—use a police force, write a constitution, hire some mouth-breathing heavies to stand over the criminally inane. On-line communitys are still looking for a solution that works. The next few years could be interesting, as the divide between the electronic and real worlds blurs, the electronic world ceases to be the domain of the terminally geeky, and the real-world problems seep in.

The thought I take away from Chuq’s article? ”Life is too short to be taken advantage of.”

Posted: Mon - August 4, 2003 at 02:38 PM   The Occasional Masthead   Personal   Email Comments

© Robert Hook