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(jeffa) Re: Why does Perlmonks work?

by jeffa (Bishop)
on Jul 13, 2003 at 16:00 UTC ( #273793=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Why does PerlMonks work?

According to the article, because we accept that:
  1. we "cannot completely separate technical and social issues."
    - I am still trying to wrap my brain around this (some might consider that we do ... posting versus the CB)
  2. "members are different than users."
    - We have a set of core users that truly care about this site. User of all sorts come and go, but we have enough core users (and plenty of those who want to be) to hopefully ensure the integrity of our community.
  3. "the core group has rights that trump individual rights in some situations."
    - We have editors, gods, and power users that work to make sure that our community maintains it's integrity.
and because the site was designed to (or at least modified to):
  1. have "handles the user can invest in."
    - And not only do we provide identity, we still allow anonymity.
  2. have "members in good standing."
    - Best Nodes, Monks by Writeup Count, and Saints in our Book are some of the ways that we reward these members.
  3. have "barriers to participation."
    - Anyone can post, but only those attain Novice are allowed to vote. Also, only registered users can vote at the polls, send private /msg's, and use the CB.
  4. "spare the group from scale."
    - I think this means that we can prevent a hoard of people joining our community because 1) we limit the discussions to mostly Perl and 2) our level system weeds out flakey participants.
All in all, this was a really good read. Thanks for pointing it out dws. :)


(the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: Why does Perlmonks work?
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jul 13, 2003 at 16:06 UTC
    barriers to participation

    There's also the site design as a whole. It's not got the lowest barrier to entry in the world :-)

Re: (jeffa) Re: Why does Perlmonks work?
by chaoticset (Chaplain) on Jul 14, 2003 at 16:19 UTC

    spare the group from scale
    See, this is something that's been nagging at my mind lately. Simple logic would dictate that easier distribution of information (which encompasses both sharing of resources and social interaction in one big honkin' swoop) would allow a monolithic organization to stay more monolithic, that it could communicate more effectively, that it could act more swiftly as a unit, etc.

    The result is otherwise, and I think the reason has to do with people not being smart enough to know the best plan. Short version, although everybody can cooperate in a way that is most effective to them as a group, they do not.

    You get a group that's too large, it splinters, becomes topheavy, becomes sluggish, etc., because as it encompasses more and more humans, it has a greatly expanding range of motives driving their involvement. Eventually, a small subset of them may locate common interests and remove themselves from the larger group (i.e., the small research consortium composed of a handful of researchers from some huge corporate R&D division) or if enough of the individuals have goals completely counter to the prime goal, then it's possible that their actions, due to chaotic "magnification", could crowd out the attempts on the part of the "group" to persevere. (My understanding is that this is what happened to Webvan, in a way. Statements from employees indicated that a significant portion of the employees did not want to perform at their jobs. In a world where pizza delivery is approaching perfection, not delivering something is akin to kicking the customer in the ass. Word-of-mouth coupled with a significant portion of non-functional employees could destroy a company easily, IMHO.)

    So it's interesting to note that a focused goal, as long as it excludes most people, is possible to achieve. Apparently being a successful community is, in part, knowing who to alienate.

    You are what you think.

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