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Topic: The Mystery of the Online Community

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    The Mystery of the Online Community

    John Dvorak, a leading tech writer, today posted an interesting column in PCMagazine called "The Mystery of the Online Community- Is there any way to weed out the fakes and the vandals?". Here are some excerpts:
    "Though there are a lot of social networks, newsgroups, forums, and club-like Web sites on the Internet and Web, these entities are not true communities, although many purport to be. Worse, they are often peopled with phonies and posers who see the whole thing as an elaborate video game...

    So within any online community, a certain percentage of the participants are out-and-out fakes. I would argue that within some communities the number is higher than 50 percent. The interpersonal dishonesty and fantasizing do not make for any sort of real community. Most of the destructive force within any online community comes from this large group of fakes who see the community as something of a video-arcade adventure game where the user can go in and stir up trouble, then leave.

    Because of this, you have to rethink online communities if you actually want them to be maintained and grow over time. How do you do this? First, you can take a look at some successful initiatives and see what makes them work. In this situation, you want to find a mechanism that is aging well....
    The article goes on to descibe some communities that have faired well and concludes: "So what do they have in common? First, they are self-selecting and not necessarily democratic... driven by technical information, and where destructive forces have no effect because the community is information-driven."

    Maintaining a great community is a hard thing to do in light of destructive people. I have to commend Papachalk and Desound for making this place such a success for the past eight years. And the people here are remarkable! This forum has stood the test of time and continues to grow.

    Dvorak leaves readers with an open question which we can discuss here: "Is there any way to establish and maintain an online community with no fakes and vandals ruining it for everyone? Or is the problem just a reflection of society that we must live with? Your input—ironically, called for in this online forum—is appreciated."

  2. #2

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    This is interesting and I had a feeling that this was the case every now and again. I can assure my friends here that, yes, I DO exist and am not a fake .
    I also think that part of the reason why this forum has stood the test of time is because in general, we don't have patience when it comes to trouble makers. It's easy to tell after a while who is genuine and who is not and who is hanging around just to cause trouble. This will make an interesting thread to read as others put in their view points.

  3. #3

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    So an online community isn't a video game? Drat! Guess I have just wasted years doing nothing.
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Quote Originally Posted by C J Pro
    So an online community isn't a video game? Drat! Guess I have just wasted years doing nothing.
    Maybe it's more like a reality show

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Recanati, Italy

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Quote Originally Posted by moviemaestro
    yes, I DO exist and am not a fake
    Uhm... how can we be sure? Please, let us see a bit more of you.

    (Ops - sorry for this sexist joke...)

  6. #6

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Although I am not a daily poster, I have "visited" here almost daily for years, and consider this community an important part of my online experience.

    I find interesting, informative posts, imaginative compositions, thoughtful reflections , and of course - humor! Thank you (you know who you are!) for making me laugh!

    I made a decision some time ago to not post with a pseudonym, as I have observed (only anecdotally, of course) that people seem to be a little more careful about what they write when their real name is attached. I have seen very few flame wars started by posters using their real name.
    I know there are concerns for privacy, etc. but it has never been a problem for me.
    I wonder what Garritan and other "real name" posters experience is in this regard?

    Obviously there are so many exceptions to that rule, even right here in this thread! For example, I feel like I have a sense of the realness of moviemaestro (Steph), Styxx, and many others, even without having communicated with them directly. They and others obviously contribute a lot to this forum.Thank you.

    Lastly, kudos to Gary for continuing to start thoughtful (often non-musical!)threads such as this, that really help us, IMO, to clarify who we are as a community, and what we need to do to continue to thrive.

  7. #7

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Here, here to all to above comments.

    I also feel that this board survives because we have to submit a "bit of ourselves" when we post music here. I get to know many here by the music they write - a musical peek into their soul, as it were. I like the souls I see here!

    This is a nice community to live in.

  8. #8

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Hello everyone,

    It has been a pleasure being on this forum. Like a "real" community, we will get upset at someone here. It hasn't happened to me in the Garritan section of the forum, but in some of the other sections... it has. I, for one, am not immune to anger. No one is immune. I am amazed that we don't get a lot of those jerky, rude, abrasive people here... they are all over the place on other forums.

    As wrayer said, we bare a part of our soul with every music post... no matter how crude, raw, or basic... that music means a lot to the author. On the Garritan Forum, we all seem to keep that in mind, critique with our hearts open.

    That sounded a bit to emotional to me!! I'd better stop before I cry! Anyway, I think that we have a good, strong core of people on this site. As long as we emulate them... the rest of us will be fine. We all know who those people are...

    Prowland the posting Ninja

  9. #9

    Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Additionally, any community of substance requires ONE steadying, calming, paternal or maternal influence, whose mere presence inspires confidence, who leads by example of cogent, insightful postings that spur members on to even greater heights of creativity, and whose sheer brilliance simply discourages charlatans and pretenders from entering the forum.
    On this forum, of course, this peerless leader is STYXX

    (highlight or double-click with your mouse after the word "is"--the mere mention of the name sends shivers through me)

    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: The Mystery of the Online Community

    Blast your confounded observations JIM! The captains down on that planet with all the Garritan software beta testing his heart out and we're stuck up here with a broken transporter!

    You all know me. I'm the guy who couldn't control a game joystick if his life depended on it! So, instead, I try to make your day a little less stressful by bringing humor to your hearts. Sometimes successful and other times miss the mark completely but hey, that's the way the crumbled cookies looks in a half glass of spoiled milk.
    Just for the record, this is my favorite forum to visit due to the plethora of intelligent, brilliant, humorous, and informative members. The aspect of this forum I LOVE most is meeting people from all over the world on common ground. This is great!

    And Snorlax, nice touch!

    Michael Salamone
    West Seneca Music Center opening soon in October 2006!

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