August 17th, 2003


Social Software

Reading Perlmonks today, I found an interesting recent post on "Why does Perlmonks work?".

A Group is its Own Worst Enemy, to which this post refers, is an interesting discussion of what criteria make social software ("groupware") work.

Among other items, he identifies three key "group" behaviors that he alleges tend to scuttle group alignment with what might actually be their original goals (he admits he cribbed this from a psychologist):

  • "Sex talk"
  • "The identification and vilification of common enemies"
  • "Religious veneration"

He suggests that for groups to stay on track, they need structure, but he explores what kinds of structure might be useful. There is an edificational example of "Communitree" which perhaps bears lessons for the Independent Media Centers: Collapse )

LiveJournal is mentioned, albeit briefly, as are several other "new" media. I am not quite sure what to make of this article; on the one hand it has some useful insights into groups, but on the other hand it has a somewhat cynical and snarky attitude towards idealism. But then, this is New Media Criticism...