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Monday, April 07, 2008

Communitied Out

Why is blogging a pain? Here's an example.

Fred recently wrote a post responding to the latest post at my HBS blog.

Today, the highest ranked comment on Fred's discussion is by a guy who clearly hasn't read bubblegen much (ie, I didn't start writing about peer production yesterday, but before most of the guys he's talking about were doing it).

Which requires me to then have a not very productive session of pointing exactly that out.

That's a pure transaction cost, which makes building communities much harder than it should be.

That's fine - I can do it every once in a while. But amplify that by like ten billion and you get a tiny taste of what guys like Om have to deal with.

The point is: we need better DNA to make communities cohere.

Twitter, for example, is a very nice start.

So here's my Twitter, if you want to add it.

-- umair // 12:47 PM //


Or a smart, threaded conversation aggregator! ;)
// Blogger Simon Cast // 3:11 PM

Umair, the commenter was clearly misinformed wrt your work.

I think in a more coherent community we (your readers) would be able to track discussion and help set the story straight.
// Anonymous Mike M // 6:24 PM

Solid - look forward to your [even more] raw thoughts in <140 character tweets. OK, you're pretty good at as it is.
// Anonymous CoryS // 1:36 AM

Reminds me of "Date's Incoherence Principle" (http://www.inconcept.com/jcm/March2004/Pascal.htm)

it's too much work to debunk ignorance. I don't think there's a technological solution for it -- just have to ignore it
// Anonymous Anonymous // 3:29 PM

Hmmm, the issue is that Twitter can get overwhelming (and the archiving is rubbish), and if you want to drill down on a topic or niche, how to you keep / filter out all the irrelevant stuff from your followers? Like Simon says, a threaded conversation aggregator would be great but possibly less open/accessible..?

And what about those who make their Twitter feeds private - quite a few people I follow do this, and I'm thinking of doing it again too after trying it out for a few days last week (there's a lot of freaks out there and Twitter's primitive settings mean it's starting to get really broken privacy-wise). That means you can't get an RSS feed of their tweets, and that some will see them while others won't.

There are stacks of tools being developed for Twitter however thanks to its APIs, and perhaps this one might be along the lines of what would work - creating group Twitter feeds. Not sure it would solve all the problems though.
// Anonymous Deirdre Molloy // 7:23 PM

That's a problem with this kind of ranking. It is too easy to have a high rank when you just need to ask your friends to vote for you.
At Alenty, we have set up an automatic ranking system (Who's Hot), that takes into account the time you spend on the site, the time people spend reading what you've written, etc.
It is harder to find 1000 people who spend hours reading you than 10 who just vote...
Community management is a new job, that requires new tools, some of which are still to define!
// Anonymous Laurent Nicolas // 1:00 PM

Umair, I think you're being a bit oversensitive here.

The comment was clearly trying to draw attention to a lot of other interesting people who've been discussing this stuff for a while. For that, it's a good comment.

Yeah, it does dis you a bit but that's hardly the main payload of what he's writing.

If anything I'd say this is Wilson's fault for hyping up your piece while making it sound like your message was a mere reiteration of the digital-Coasian one.

BTW : Phil Agre wrote a paper trying to debunk that idea that cheaper transaction costs spelled the end of large organizations, back in 2000 (http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/hamburg.html ) Worth reading if you haven't; although I'd say case not proven.

(Phil Jones, not logging in on this computer)
// Anonymous Anonymous // 5:50 PM

RE: the awesome Twitter. Thought you would appreciate this great example of edge thinking: http://crashcorp.com/twitter/answerme/help - Imagine Yahoo! Answers built on Twitter.
// Anonymous Alberto // 4:26 PM
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