People are still people, even when typing

Adam Tinworth, in a piece from 2007 that he tweeted earlier today, gives 10 things he’s learned about online community that still hold true:

  1. Whatever you do, don’t listen to the loudest voices in preference to the rest
  2. You can’t avoid conflict in the community, and even splits, no matter how had you try to control who joins
  3. Calming voices are invaluable
  4. Controlling voices are deadly
  5. Conversations that drift off topic and into running jokes are the sign of a good community developing – but if it goes too far, it alienates newcomers…

Read them all – they’re short, well-phrased and insightful, and every single one also applies equally well to communities offline. People are people all over, whether they’re communicating in text or in person, and the same dramas, difficulties, successes and failures play out online as they do in meatspace.

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Mary Hamilton

I’m a journalist-type tech-ish geek person, working in that interesting ambiguous place where reporting the news meets all sorts of peripheral skills. In my spare time I herd zombies, design games and write stuff.

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