Online Communities Talk

speaker notes for Philip Greenspun; revised June 2003

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Education -- Why does it matter?

Education -> Better Technology; Better Tech -> Better Education?

Six Required Elements of Sustainable Online Community

the first large-scale online communities: USENET discussion forums

obvious improvements to USENET when doing Web-based communities

More dramatic improvements can be obtained with attention to Element 5: "Means of excluding burdensome people." Your software can do the SQL query "show me users who've submitted questions that were deleted by a moderator as redundant" and then automatically welcome those users back to the forum with an interstitial page explaining how to search and browse archived threads. If the online community is short on moderator time it will make a lot of sense to query for those users whose postings have resulted in moderator intervention. If it turns out that 0.1 percent of the users consume 50 percent of the moderators' time, perhaps it is better to ban those handful of users and thereby double the community's available moderation resources.

scaling from 100 participants to 100,000: adapting ideas from the sociology of physical communities


A little inspiration

Text and photos (if any) Copyright 2003 Philip Greenspun.