Communities and Doors
I was intrigued when in his recent interview with re/code magazine (http://stonet.co/1vN4oCP
) Google+ head +Dave Besbris
said that the three biggest strengths of Google+ were Photos, Hangouts and....Communities.
Communities? No one would have expected that to be named in the same lofty atmosphere as the technological triumphs of G+ Hangouts and Photos.
Yet communities, as simple as they are in comparison, are (I'm convinced) more and more where the real value of Google+ is happening. And not just on Google+. Many friends tell me that they now spend most of their Facebook time on Facebook groups made up of people with common interests.
In his post http://blog.codinghorror.com/your-community-door/
Jeff Atwood extols communities because they overcome the inevitable burden of large social networks: the need to please everyone.
And, he says, that problem becomes most evident when people misbehave or become abusive on a network. The typical solution of networks is to provide block and mute functions.
Atwood remarks:How do we show [abusive people] the door? You can block, you can hide, you can mute. But what you can't do is show them the door, because it's not your house. It's Facebook's house. It's their door, and the rules say the whole world has to be accommodated within the Facebook community. So mute and block and so forth are the only options available. But they are anemic, barely workable options.
In other words, block and mute don't solve the problem. They just move it to someone else's thread.
But communities can have agreed upon standards. They don't need block and mute. The misbehavior can be dealt with by peer pressure...or if still incorrigible, be shown the door.
I wonder if as more and more people realize this, more and more social networking will take place within groups and communities, rather than on the noisy and unmoderated "dance floor" of the networks.
Read the complete post at http://blog.codinghorror.com/your-community-door/
Original of the XKCD comic: http://xkcd.com/1357/
HT +AJ Kohn
for sharing the CodeHorror post with me.