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25 May 2014 @ 08:17 am
Aspiring to the condition of vampire bats.  
Why More means Worse in online communities.

Thanx to andrewducker
Greetings Fellow Comstoks!fengi on May 25th, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
I cannot get with this one. The use of "noobs" is like "sheeple", connoting unearned, unfair superiority. Volume can be a factor, but this confuses volume with moderation and structural ussues.

Youtube sucks because comments in that network are inherently unnecessary and flawed given the tools which drive actual usage - not because youtube has too many users. Unmoderated comments are inherently low quality no matter how many participants.

Livejournal had powerful tools and a structure which made quality control more natural and many communities only declined when the user base dried up.

Facebook limits user moderation and has site structures which push content for opaque reasons, the result being that it requires very few members to generate a lot of white noise.

I think he misreads the nature of reddits and subreddits as separate entities rather than a symbiotic relationship of general filtering down to specific, with moderation increasing.

He does identify a key issue of quality with his comment "the endless september" -the unhelpful hostility, gatekeeping, false sense of ownership and tribalist narcissism has informed internet culture from the start, and drives much of the aggression which undermines quality. The rage at noobs by people who really had no claim to quality or right to dictate behavior beyond showing up a the party first has legitimized all sorts of unqualified aggression.

There's also a white male privileged undertone to comparing "too many" users as akin to sharing unclean blood. The internet is a tool of mass communication - perhaps the problem is associating mass use with low quality.
browngirl on May 25th, 2014 02:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this.
Johnjohnpalmer on May 26th, 2014 11:25 pm (UTC)
Hm. But I also got a sense of largeness equating to strangerdom, equating to "why do I have to care about what I said or do to this person? It's not like I have to interact continuously with them," and I find that's probably a real factor.

Given that Usenet was never wildly popular, I think that a lot of lack of welcoming and disdain for newbies might well have been driven by the same force. And it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy as people would be unwelcoming/unfriendly, thus ensuring they wouldn't end up having to deal with the new person because that person wouldn't see the point.

I'm not agreeing with the article, mind you - but I think I see something useful in that concept.
Fighting Crime with a Giant Dandelion Since 2013: Libellula juliapameladean on May 25th, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
I notice a complete lack of the idea that kindness is a value in itself; also a complete failure to acknowledge the fact that the world is shaped oddly and you may, whether you think so or not, end up interacting again with somebody whom you think you are tossing out of your life, whether an ex-partner or a casual encounter in an online venue.