Writing social software is hard. And, as I said, the act of writing social software is more like the work of an economist or a political scientist. And the act of hosting social software, the relationship of someone who hosts it is more like a relationship of landlords to tenants than owners to boxes in a warehouse.
The patterns here, I am suggesting, both the things to accept and the things to design for, are givens. Assume these as a kind of social platform, and then you can start going out and building on top of that the interesting stuff that I think is going to be the real result of this period of experimentation with social software.
A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy (cache)
Everything is here, since 2003. To sum up even if I encourage you to read the whole piece:
- How is a group its own worst enemy? Sex talk, identification and vilification of external enemies and religious veneration.
- Three things to accept: you cannot completely separate technical and social issues, members are different than users and the core group has rights that trump individual rights in some situations.
- Four things to design for: The first thing you would design for is handles the user can invest in. Second, you have to design a way for there to be members in good standing. Three, you need barriers to participation. And, finally, you have to find a way to spare the group from scale.
I kind of find these patterns in every group I joined. It should be taken into account within a local constitution. Somehow reminds me patterns I tried to identify myself. Oh my god, re-reading that piece five years later I realize I already linked to that same page from there…
Am I really looping over my own thoughts indefinitely?