Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Research Note: The Dynamics of Community
This is a great - and heartfelt post - about why the 2.0 ecosystem sucks.
I'm sure lots of you agree with what Ethan's saying.
I could write a long post agreeing...but you know the score. So let's approach it a little differently.
Let me try and connect another dot. The TechCrunch forum, very interestingly has almost no discussion. It's a faux-forum, no real interaction is taking place.
Why? That's kind of an existence proof that TechCrunch isn't a real community. That is, people aren't there to share and cooperate - they're there to compete with one another and outdo one another. Why not? Perhaps because, Mike, and I hate to say it, sets the incentives for people to do so, by doing exactly what Ethan talks about (exclusives, PR flacking, etc, etc).
Let me put that another way: the TechCrunch forum is a classic example of adverse selection. The guys asking for reviews/discussion/etc are the guys who no one else wants to review/discuss with/etc.
See the point? In both designs - Techmeme and Techcrunch - the incentive for quality is vanishing. And because it is, the dynamics of a true community can never be ignited - nobody invests in quality, and so little meaningful cooperation can ever take place.
Now, that's not me hating. I read TechMeme, Techcrunch (Mashable, ReadWrite Web, etc) all the time.
Rather, the problem is that all these players aspire to community (rather than markets, networks, or just plain firms) - and the point is that real community requires much deeper thinking about why cooperation happens - and how to embed that into your DNA.
In light of Ethan's post, (which I thought was great) You gotta have a look at 'TipDish': It kind of comes right out and lays it on the table!
"...(Dishers) receive the latest news, information, products and info from companies, organizations, PR and Marketing Professionals (Tippers)."
ha - awesome. nice catch!