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Bibliographic Item (1.0)


  1. Clay Shirky
  2. A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy
  3. ETech (Apr 2003 ) + Published July 1, 2003 on the "Networks, Economics, and Culture" mailing list. [ group_enemy.html ]
  5. Refers to W.R. Bion: "Experiences in Groups": Groups of people become both collections of individuals and a self-coordinating entitiy. Therapeutic groups tend to: talk sex, identify external enemies, and religiously venerate something. Need for structure for groups to work. In particular rules for creating rules...
  6. Examples of BBSs, Usenet, .... where open free group is invaded.
  7. Therefore need structure in social systems.
  8. Technology (TCP/IP, WiFi, IM, Mobile phones, ...) now lets all people be online together.
  9. Example. Ito's Conference call moderated on chat with wiki for references.
  10. For a given technology -- most groups fail!
  11. Accept:
    1. Social and technical issues are intertwingled: they can not be separated niether does the technical drive the social. The system will have antics -- emergent properties. There will be a formal rules and informal rules.
    2. Members are not just users. There will be an onion structure. Example: reader -> anonamous coward -> named person -> moderator. The Core subgroup love and weed the garden that others wander through (and vandalize?). = Volunteer fire department.
    3. One user = one vote does not work when anybody can be a user.

  12. Things to design for
    1. Give members a handle -- stable local name. So they get a reputation.
    2. Make a simple way for behavior to be visible -- who is in good standing?
    3. Make it difficult to enter the core subgroups. The group is the real user!
    4. Make the communications scale. Encourage a small world structure. Many linked small groups.

  13. Compare the experience in [Wolf09] of Craig's List.
  14. Also see [Shirky08] for the social impact of free communication and publishing.

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