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InterComm: The Internet Community Conference

By rusty in Internet
Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:54:19 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Internet communities come in many different forms. Weblogs, diaries, instant messaging, activist groups, topical interest groups, and just folks who like to talk to each other. The common thread in all of these is people, using the internet to interact with other people, with an unprecedented ability to reach across national, social, and personal boundaries.

How do online communities form? What are they good for? What do they do right, and how could they be better? What are the technological issues in building communities online? What are the social issues? Where can we go next? A lot of people have some of the answers to these questions, and the Internet Community Conference will bring them together in meatspace, to talk about these issues, form ties between different communities, and hopefully strengthen the ever growing social space of the internet.


InterComm will be held during the first day or two of the second O'Reilly Peer to Peer Conference, September 17th, 2001, in Washington DC. Registration will be open soon, and will be US$50 or less for attendees. O'Reilly has generously donated space at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, so go buy one of their great books and show your love. :-)

The Call for Participation has just gone out, and selection of speakers and panel participants will be done in the open, with all proposals being posted to the InterComm site, and commented on by prospective attendees and interested bystanders. I hope to make this conference as community-driven as possible, as you'd expect given the subject. :-)

I still need help! If you would like to speak at the conference, post a proposal. If you'd like to recommend someone else to speak, email me or them, or both, and let them know about the conference. We also need someone with expertise processing conference registrations and online payment, and people who'd be willing to help sign people in, make badges, and do all the other exciting and rewarding grun^H^H^H^Horganizational work that a conference requires.

We want to make registration as inexpensive as possible, so any companies who would like to donate money, equipment, or expertise will be lavishly and profusely thanked on the website, and at the conference. All donations will go toward paying travel costs for invited speakers and panelists.

If you participate in other online communities (and I know most of you do ;-)) get those MLP fingers tapping! I'd like to have as wide a range of communities as possible represented, and time is short, so get the word out.

I know this is a bit of SSP, and I hope that will be forgiven in the interests of the cause at hand. I think this will be a great opportunity to finally meet some of those people you only know by nick, and improve what may be the most important use of the net.

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Poll
I plan to register for InterComm
o Yes 13%
o No 72%
o Maybe, depending on criteria in my comment 13%

Votes: 43
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Weblogs
o diaries
o instant messaging
o activist groups
o topical interest groups
o folks who like to talk to each other
o Internet Community Conference
o InterComm
o O'Reilly Peer to Peer Conference
o books
o Call for Participation
o email me
o SSP
o Also by rusty


Display: Sort:
InterComm: The Internet Community Conference | 46 comments (43 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
This may seem strange (4.33 / 3) (#1)
by spacejack on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:03:38 PM EST

But the only other online "community" I use is Usenet (however, after getting addicted to K5, I keep searching for the non-existant "rate post" dropdown).

The things I like about Usenet are the total free-for-all nature of it, and the fact that none of the participants know your usage statistics, or log your preview drafts :) That and the fact that they attract experts in the field; given a well thought out question, I'll still get the best overall response there to a technical question. And there is community -- I've gotten real work opportunities via usenet relationships as well as email conversations with respected members in the industry.

The one other kind of community I sort of miss (not in a big way, but a little) are the Compuserve forums. There was something about having to pay, along with having a moderator that kept discussions highly civil. I remember going from CServe to usenet thinking "wow, look at all these flame wars!" and then from there discovering Slashdot and thinking "wow, look at all these vulgar, *ist posts!". I came across K5 very shortly afterword and was impressed that the trend had seemed to reverse itself somewhat.

You guys have some interesting work ahead of you...

very cool (3.00 / 1) (#2)
by Justinfinity on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:08:18 PM EST

i'd love to go, but school and money matters may keep me from attending, as outlined in my latest post at Just Infinity (yeah, a bit of SSP, so what? :-P).

BTW, anyone planning on going from up here in New England? ;-)

-justin
NE (none / 0) (#10)
by Defect on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:56:52 PM EST

I don't know, it seems like it would be a good time to take a vacation and it's certainly far enough away to make plans for it so i think i may.

But it's also far enough away for plenty of things to happen in the meantime, so who knows.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
road trip? (none / 0) (#15)
by eann on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:10:27 PM EST

That's a big maybe, depending on what becomes of the actual date(s) and whether I expect to still live on the east coast by then.


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


[ Parent ]
Me too (none / 0) (#31)
by aphrael on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:35:14 PM EST

Going would be fun, but i'm already flying to .ma.us for USENIX in June, and paying to fly across the country *again*, plus hotel stay, and getting time off work, just doesn't seem like it would work. :(

Maybe next year. Especially if rusty takes trhurler's advice about camping. :) 'K5BierWanderung' anyone? :)

[ Parent ]

what could be done better..... (2.66 / 3) (#3)
by delmoi on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:09:28 PM EST

How do online communities form? What are they good for? What do they do right, and how could they be better?

Well, for starters, they could *fix the queue* Of course when I say 'communities' I mean 'kuro5hin' :P
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
hey now (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by hurstdog on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:38:16 PM EST

we're working on it. :P Of course, if you would like to sponser our scoop work, and send us money we'll get it done immediatly ;-), until then, its when our jobs/girlfriends/classes/fiancees/etc allow us time. As far as I know, rusty already has a plan on how he's going to do it, its just a matter of coding it up.

of course, if you would like to submit a patch to fix the queue, email it to me, hurstdog at kuro5hin dot org, and we'll see what we can do.



[ Parent ]

ads? (none / 0) (#20)
by Delirium on Tue May 01, 2001 at 05:20:16 PM EST

Of course, if you would like to sponser our scoop work, and send us money we'll get it done immediatly ;-), until then, its when our jobs/girlfriends/classes/fiancees/etc allow us time.

Not to be an ass, but I thought that's what we were doing by putting up with ad banners? Isn't rusty getting paid a salary to work on k5?

[ Parent ]

sort of (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by rusty on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:39:33 PM EST

Yes, i get some of the income from the ads. I still have to work though. Mainly, the queue is a rather largish piece of re-engineering, so it takes a little time.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
putting up with ads? (none / 0) (#41)
by Justinfinity on Wed May 02, 2001 at 02:44:08 PM EST

is someone forcing you to keep visiting kuro5hin?

-Justin

if this is all a dream, please, don't wake me


[ Parent ]
ads (none / 0) (#42)
by Delirium on Wed May 02, 2001 at 03:19:20 PM EST

No, but that was the justification offered for when ads were first put in place. "We're putting up ads to pay for server and hosting costs and so we can pay for a few people to maintain the site full-time." Obviously rusty can put up ads for any reason he feels like without requiring a justification, but if he offers one I take him at his word. Plus "umm, you're getting money for it" is the obvious answer to the "don't bug us, we're doing it for free" argument (though hurstdog is, afaik, doing it for free, so that doesn't apply to him, and rusty also has afaik not said "fuck off I'm not getting paid for this," so I'm not claiming anyone's being hypocritical).

[ Parent ]
Well, (4.25 / 8) (#4)
by trhurler on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:22:03 PM EST

I voted zero even though I can find something worse wrong with this than that it is ssp. The fact is, this is silly. I understand Rusty's motive; when something like this becomes your job, perspective changes. However, conferences of this nature rarely rise above merely being a podium for self-important windbags to pontificate in wonk fashion; think "digerati" for a prime example of the sort of people this will attract. There aren't enough Rustys, so you end up filling the gaps with wannabes who don't know shit about shit, have never done anything important in the field, and yet have really big mouths. Losers, in other words. People we'd all be better off without. People who who bought into Wired magazine's view of the world. People who want their own little clique, who want to be important "the easy way." People who dress in black with silver jewelry and sit around in coffee shops talking about how AI is going to be the end of humanity "as we know it."

I used to be somewhat well known in a different circle whose more starry-eyed members imagined that they were building these same sorts of communities. I won't name them or their cause; you'd laugh; I left mainly because I was into the technology, and increasingly, they were into the bullshit that only existed in their own drug-addled frontal lobes. They had conferences and so on, and the average users just ignored this. It wasn't just that the conferences were inconsequential; normally, you think of that word as connoting a negative. These things were cosmically inconsequential; they made lack of consequence into a quality in its own right and then perfected it, creating the ultimate in mutual verbal masturbation. A tower from which they ruled over their land of nothingness. They had the incredible foolishness to start their own "peer reviewed journal." (That may give it away for some people.) These people are idiots. Why should we be like them?

When you lose sight of the fact that for all the accomplishments, it is mostly about having a good time, you've lost, and that's the problem: take it too seriously, and it becomes irrelevant.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Three letters (3.50 / 2) (#5)
by delmoi on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:28:44 PM EST

There aren't enough Rustys, so you end up filling the gaps with wannabes who don't know shit about shit, have never done anything important in the field, and yet have really big mouths. Losers, in other words. People we'd all be better off without

E S R

--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Sort of (4.50 / 2) (#9)
by trhurler on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:49:35 PM EST

I can agree with this to some extent, but at least esr is good for something. Regardless of what you think of his political and other non-technical views, and notwithstanding the fact that most of his programming has been on things nobody else seems to give a rat's ass about, the fact is, he's been a PR boon for anyone writing free software who is interested in getting donations or other support from the commercial world. He's probably almost singlehandedly responsible for the existence of Mozilla as a free project. He works hard, even when he's misguided. The same cannot be said for the kind of people I'm talking about; when they're not at conferences or trying to figure out how to change the color scheme on their latest install of Slashcode, they're sitting around reading Guns & Ammo and masturbating in piles of their own feces.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Absolutely (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by rusty on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:46:14 PM EST

Yes, you are extremely right. I really, really want to avoid "self-important gasbag" syndrome, and I think I have a few ideas how. I'd appreciate your ideas on this too.

First off, it's not going to be a tradeshow. No booths, no booth babes, no swag. All that stuff is just a waste of time. The point of this is to get people talking to each other.

So second is I'd like to keep it pretty light on lectures. There may be a few people who are good enough speakers, with an interesting enough perspective to stand up and talk at an audience. But I'd much rather have attendees be the main participants. I mean, that's what's made online communities successful, mostly. Letting real people have their say.

So most of the presentations will probably take the form of panels about a topic, where some folks with experience in the topic answer questions and discuss stuff with the attendees, or roundtables, where the audience and the panel are pretty much the same.

I really don't want this to become a meeting of (shudder) "digerati". Just the word gives me the heebie-jeebies. It's not really for people who have "visions" or "analyses". It's more aimed at people like me, who are really interested in exploring online community, and want to talk to others who are also into this stuff. People who are doing things, not just talking about it.

One of the topics I'd really like to see addressed is "Is there such a thing as community online?" I think there are good cases to be made both ways. I hope we aren't just a band of blinded zealots.

When you lose sight of the fact that for all the accomplishments, it is mostly about having a good time, you've lost, and that's the problem: take it too seriously, and it becomes irrelevant.

Well, I'd hoped to keep this a deep dark secret, but the real reason I want to do this, is because I think it would be fun. "Bunch of like-minded folks to get together, shoot the shit, have good time" doesn't really play as a headline outside The Onion, though, so I had to come up with some larger justifications for it. We'll just keep that between us, then, eh? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Ok, well then, I have an admission to make too... (4.50 / 4) (#12)
by trhurler on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:02:54 PM EST

Half the reason I responded was because I obviously couldn't actually go to such a thing without being lynched:)

Just kidding. Anyway, if that's your intent, then I hope it works. Entirely too meta to draw me half way across a continent, especially seeing as I'm really quite content and don't see a need for a whole lot of discussion on the topic, but that's me. If the guys in black from the coffee shops show up, shoot them. Please.

One suggestion: depending on how many people you draw, find something to do besides sit around and have panel discussions. I'm not saying waste time, but hell, take your 50 people or whatever and descend like a horde of locusts on some restaurant in the evening(preferably a restaurant/bar combo. That way, your younger people can get in, and your older people can indulge themselves as they see fit.) Make it clear through the mood and overall tone that even though you mean to have interesting discussion, you came to have a good time and you intend to do it. Spend some time yabbering about the as-yet-unexplored possibilities of the technology itself, perhaps the dryest part of the whole thing, while wandering through the city in large groups daring the cops to call you a "gang." If you're going to do it, have fun, dammit. A few dozen people holed up in a room or two looking like a college class discussion isn't going to cut it unless you also do something else.

If you end up planning a second one, do something different. Really different. Go camping or something. Pompous windbags can't stand casual frivolity, and it isn't like you can't discuss things while floating downstream in a canoe:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Goddamit (none / 0) (#22)
by Sunir on Tue May 01, 2001 at 06:19:50 PM EST

No booths, no booth babes, no swag.

And you wanted me to submit a paper. No babes, no toys, no talk!

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

I'm sure... (none / 0) (#25)
by rusty on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:36:50 PM EST

That we can find a booth babe for you, Sunir. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Sort of off topic (none / 0) (#29)
by John Milton on Tue May 01, 2001 at 08:44:44 PM EST

I've only been on Kuro5hin for about a week or so. I had been posting on slashdot, but I finally left because all of the comments critisizing Michael (Not mine) got modded down by an unknown force. I'll take your word for it that there is no K5 cabal.

Anyways. Enough rambling. I was just wondering if you have ever considered having a K5 convention sometime. Try to get everyone to come. It would be appropriate when K5 turns 5 years old. That is assuming it's still here then. I know not everyone lives in America, but it would still be kinda cool. I was just thinking of something along the lines of a sci-fi convention. Like one big party. Anything goes. New York.

I sometimes wonder what kind of people my fellow posters are "real life." I wonder if Anne Marie really is a woman?


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
K5 Convention (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by rusty on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:53:06 AM EST

I don't know if we have enough common interest for everyone to get together, but I'd be thrilled to hear about local groups hanging out. I really think that keeping online and offline communities strictly separate hurts both.

Anyone want to organize a local K5UG? :-)

Who knows. Maybe when we turn 5, it'll be a whole different ball game. We'll see then, I guess.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Neet (none / 0) (#13)
by starbreeze on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:04:16 PM EST

Do we get a registration discount if we volunteer to help? :P

Actually this sounds interesting, having been an online community junkie since the days of BBS's. Never been to a large scale internet community gathering, always had little BBS parties, and IRC parties tho.

~~~~~~~~~ There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor

I can help you out (none / 0) (#14)
by wiredog on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:07:33 PM EST

I live in Reston, right outside DC, and will be going to the p2p conference. My company's in that line of work, so I can get time off (maybe even with pay) to go. I have experience on the organizational end of conferences (small ones), and especially on the grunt work end.

btw, will those of us who help out get "Kuro5hin.org Cabal" or something similarly cool on our badges?

write me at "kitcase at home dot com"

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

Congratulations on the scheduling :( (none / 0) (#17)
by cp on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:51:20 PM EST

September 17th is Rosh Hashannah this year. I guess I won't be seeing you folks at shul.

p2p and coasts (1.00 / 1) (#18)
by Delirium on Tue May 01, 2001 at 05:08:47 PM EST

Perhaps it's my biases, but it seems that having it turing the O'Reilly Peer to Peer conference is a bad idea. It'd tend to attract the sort of "inf0rmati0n wants t0 be fr33 d00dz, napster r0x#!@#!!@#" people I'd rather not interact with.

Plus it's on the wrong damn coast. Schedule something in California. =P

Ideal Community Conference (none / 0) (#19)
by Delirium on Tue May 01, 2001 at 05:17:04 PM EST

Well I'd occasionally thought about things like this, so a few points on how this differs from my idea community conference:

1) It's set up too much like one of those damn tech shows. $50 to get in, call for speakers, etc. And it's lumped together with a buzzwordy p2p conference.

2) The timing makes no sense. September 17? That's not a time that's particularly convenient for most people. A large percentage of k5ers are college students (and there's even a significant number of high school students), and this doesn't coincide with any sort of holiday; it's unlikely somebody is going to take time off school just to attend this conference, so you've already limited it (mostly) to the not-in-school k5ers. Plus, as cp noted, it's Rosh Hashannah. I'm not even Jewish and that'd probably in itself kill the possibility to attend for me (I have quite a few Jewish friends who will probably invite me to something or other around then). Why not have it in August or something?

3) Location. I personally would stick it in Chicago; it's centrally located for the US, and very easy to get flights into from nearly anywhere in Europe. The northeast is about as easy to get to from Europe (about a 2 hour shorter flight, but once you're on a plane anyway who cares?), but significantly more difficult to get to from, say, California, where a large percentage of k5ers live.

Nothing's ideal / First Draft (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by rusty on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:34:35 PM EST

The registration fee is going toward paying to get speakers out to the thing. The fewer we need to pay for, the less it'll cost. But damned if I'm going to spend my own money to put on this show for you. If you can think of a way to do it without charging, let me know.

The reason we're "lumping in" with the p2p conference is several-fold. A lot of people are interested in both topics, so it's less likely to conflict in people's schedules. ORA offered free meeting space. If we had to pay for that, chances are it'd be a lot more expensive. And they're willing to help promote it, so maybe enough people will hear about it to make it interesting.

The two are, however, separate conferences, with separate registrations, etc. We're just before they are. I don't think it's so unreasonable to do it this way, and it saves me a lot of hassles.

The timing is mainly due to the p2p conference. However, this isn't a k5 conference. I'ts a web community conference. I don't really expect a whole horde of k5ers would be interested in this. It's mainly for people who run communities online, or are really interested in the possibilities they offer. A lot of other community leaders do read stuff here, so this is a natural place to get the word out. Plus, I knew I could count on many of you to have good ideas. :-)

And I'm getting married in August, so that's pretty much out.

Location: again, free space == convenient location. DC is reachable by car from virtually anywhere on the East coast, and has several large airports nearby [TIP: If you're planning to fly in, go to BWI and take the MARC train! Dulles sucks]. It's a big city, so there's plenty to do and see, and there's the whole p2p thing right after, if you're interested in that too.

It's basically no different for me (in CA) to get to Chicago as it is to get to DC. And, BTW, what gave you the idea that a large percentage of k5ers live in california? Some do, but probably not as many as live in, say, England.

So, most of your issues come down to location and timing. I'm doing this by myself (so far), on a shoestring, so those are considered "flexible". If you want to run InterComm 2, you can have it wherever you want. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

interc0mm (none / 0) (#27)
by Delirium on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:54:02 PM EST

Heh well just in case it wasn't clear enough that wasn't a "DAMNIT RUSTY J00R CONFERENCE SUX0RZ" comment, just musings on logistics of conferences in general (hence the term "ideal;" obviously nothing is ideal). And I wasn't entirely clear on the goal of it; now that you've explained it more it seems like it's not something I'd be too interested in anyway (I use communities, but don't actually administer any).

As for the fee, I suppose it depends on what sorts of speakers you want. I'm sure you can find plenty of knowledgeable people willing to speak for free; you don't have to put up hefty speaking engagement fees for semi-celebrities. Ideally the speakers would be the sort who'd be attending the conference anyway on their own even if they weren't speaking, and just want to speak to get some ideas out. So paying for their transportation wouldn't be any more necessary than paying transportation for the other attendees; they're going to be there anyway. You just give them a forum in which they can speak if they so desire.

But yeah the location and timing due to free space makes sense; if ORA are willing to reduce your costs significantly, you might as well take advantage of that.

As for location of k5ers, I was mostly thinking of North Americans, because people on other continent would have to fly in anyway, and when you're flying from Europe or Australia, just about any city with a major airport is equivalent. New York/DC would be better for the people in England, San Francisco would be better for the people in Australia, but neither would make that much of a difference once you're on a plane already.

And I'm still in the early stages of planning InterComm 2, but preliminary plans are to use the free meeting space graciously provided by the kind folks at Wal Mart. Best Buy is also a possibility, but I want to plan for the possibility of an enormous turnout, and the parking lot of Wal Mart can accomodate podiums and whatnot more easily.

[ Parent ]

I'll make an appearance (none / 0) (#21)
by theR on Tue May 01, 2001 at 05:38:11 PM EST

I was wondering what "O'Reilly has generously donated space at the Omni Shoreham Hotel" means, though? Is that for the people that are working at the conference, only? And if so, will they offer discount rates to people who pay to go to the conference? Last, is the conference actually at the hotel?

Not that it matters to me, since I live in the area. And, as rusty probably know from his time in D.C., the hotel is a couple blocks from the National Zoo and not far from a wide variety of nightspots, not even mentioning the rest of the usual attractions downtown.



Hotel space (none / 0) (#23)
by rusty on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:16:02 PM EST

The space at the hotel is for us to actually have the conference. This probably wasn't totally clear in my post. They're donating rooms for us to meet in, not hotel rooms for people to stay in. As with any other conference, attendees will have to arrange their own sleeping quarters. The p2p conference pages probably have more about that.

In fact, I used to live near the zoo, so anyone who comes will be invited out to my favorite DC hangouts after-hours. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The Internet Community Conference (none / 0) (#28)
by enterfornone on Tue May 01, 2001 at 08:14:16 PM EST

From what you are saying, it sounds like some sort of Jon Katz convention.
The common thread in all of these is people, using the internet to interact with other people
Incredible, people using the Internet for what it was designed for. Who'da thunk.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Seriously (none / 0) (#30)
by enterfornone on Tue May 01, 2001 at 08:53:47 PM EST

Communities are of course nothing new. On line communities pre-date the WWW. BBSs, Usenet, those weird telnet things that were designed to look like ascii university campuses.

The Internet was designed for communication, so it's no surprise that people use it for that. What is surprising is the fact that people spend so much time communicating about communication.

Communities can't be made better because communities are not artificial things that are made for the sake of it. You don't see your church or golf club or work social club holding confrences on "how to make a better community". You don't even see community groups doing that.

The big problem with many newer online communities such as kuro5hin is that they either have no focus or they have had a focus but lost it in order to "become" a community.

Kuro5hin for example was once a place for discussion on technology and culture. Now kuro5hin is for the most part an "online community" whose sole purpose seems to be talking about kuro5hin.

Cliques such as this form in the real world too, but they generally form out of people who have a common interest. But the common interest in the K5 clique is simply an interest in K5.

How do we create better online communities? Simple, shut up about them and let them evolve like real communities do. As we have seen attempting to artificially create communities only results in artificial communities. In order to create a real community we need to stop talking about them and start being them.


--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Thanks for sharing (none / 0) (#32)
by rusty on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:20:15 PM EST

Your insight and wisdom keeps me going when things look bleak. How else would I have found out that "community" existed before the internet? I'll seriously have to look into that. Do you have any links or examples?

Ok, I hate being bitter and nasty, so I'll try to actually respond. I know community was around before the web. I also know that online community exists over other protocols than http. I hope some of them will be represented.

Communties are people. People communicate. It's what we do. What I'd like is to communicate with some other people who have similar goals and interests about how the net (yes, all of it) can be better used to help people communicate.

I'm sure you can find something wrong with that idea, but frankly, I'm not really asking your permission. Why is the idea of people getting together to confer about using a new medium so offensive to you? Is your life better now that you've opined that we should all just STFU?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Sorry (none / 0) (#33)
by enterfornone on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:23:31 PM EST

Didn't know there was a rule against discussion on this discussion forum.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Uh? (none / 0) (#35)
by rusty on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:01:37 AM EST

Where did I say that?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#36)
by enterfornone on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:15:50 AM EST

You flamed me just for having an opinion that differs from yours. Which suggests you feel that I don't have a right to discuss this.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#37)
by rusty on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:43:03 AM EST

I flamed you for telling me I was wrong to want to talk about community online. That's not helpful to anyone. But whatever. This is a pointless argument.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
yeah so (none / 0) (#44)
by enterfornone on Wed May 02, 2001 at 10:58:49 PM EST

I claimed that talking about online communities was pointless and I gave reasons for that claim. You have no reasons for your claim that talking about online communities is worthwhile other than the fact that my opinion is worthless.

This argument is only pointless because you are not willing to discuss it.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
stuff (none / 0) (#39)
by Delirium on Wed May 02, 2001 at 07:19:52 AM EST

Wow, a flame from rusty, there's something you don't get every day. All this time I had the image of a grandfatherly sort of benevolent dictator, but I'm glad to see that the dictator can kick ass occasionally as well.

FWIW, I think a lot of the critical comments here (or at least some of them: I can speak for my own) aren't meant in a "you suck, your conference sucks, stfu" sort of way, though obviously I can see how criticism of something you've worked hard to put together could be taken badly. Same goes for most of the criticism of kuro5hin in general and things you do on kuro5hin in particular - really most of us think you do a great job around here so it tends to go without saying; posting comments to the effect of "damn rusty, kuro5hin is one hell of a lot better than Plastic" all the time would get rather redundant. The negative comments are just criticisms when some of us think something should be done differently (which is in the minority of cases - we wouldn't spend so much time on the site if it wasn't).

So I'm not really sure why I posted this comment. Anyway I posted some critical comments in this story, but they weren't intended as "cancel your shitty conference already" comments. Hell if I had the time off school and money for transportation I'd probably go myself; half the dislike is probably from a "dammit why can't you arrange it so I can attend" angle.

[end rambling]

[ Parent ]

Yeah, you're right (none / 0) (#40)
by rusty on Wed May 02, 2001 at 01:26:55 PM EST

And now, as I do every time I lose it and flame someone, I feel dumb.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Ironic (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by Luke Francl on Tue May 01, 2001 at 11:37:57 PM EST

Does anyone else find it slightly ironic that people are getting together to discuss online communities? Shouldn't they just use IRC? <g>

Why InterComm? (none / 0) (#43)
by driph on Wed May 02, 2001 at 06:27:29 PM EST

[I'm quoting from enterfornone's post below, but I'm just using his comment as a springboard for this one.]
Communities can't be made better because communities are not artificial things that are made for the sake of it. You don't see your church or golf club or work social club holding confrences on "how to make a better community". You don't even see community groups doing that...

...How do we create better online communities? Simple, shut up about them and let them evolve like real communities do.

You are correct, most communities are not artificial things made for the sake of it.

However, many communities do get together to try and figure out ways to make their community better. You know what makes this more amazing? RL communities have existed for quite some time now. And people are STILL trying to figure out ways to make them better. Sure, you're group of 5 or 10 friends may have just fell together, but do you seriously believe a town of over 10,000 just evolves out of nothing, without any planning whatsoever? That infrastructure and police and fire services just pop up out of the blue one day? No, all these things are planned for. A newly incorporated town is going to benefit by studying other towns and cities, watching what went right, what went wrong...and learning how they can do better.

Let's say I am involved in an effort to colonize the bottom of the ocean. Do I isolate myself from those with related goals, assuming "it's a community, if we shut up and let it evolve like a real community, we'll be successful?" Or would it be better to seek out others who have had success with deep submersible craft, underwater mapping, and habitat development? Maybe someone has attempted the same goal as I in the past, what can I learn from them? Where did they go wrong? Were they successful? If they met with failure, why?

Online communities are the same way. They have only been in existance for maybe 20 years or so at most, and earlier online communities never reached anything near the scale and numbers that we are starting to see today. Many of us are putting a lot of thought and time into creating something that we believe is a major attraction of the net. Some communities are prebuilt with the hopes of attracting members. Others evolve around a common interest or a concept, often unexpected. Most online communities fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of the method of inception, planning and development as the community grows and expands can either supplement and benefit the community or stifle and tear it apart. What better way to learn than to see what has worked(and failed) for others? Why not take the opportunity to share and build ideas with others who are trying to do the same thing, in one form or another?

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave

what i meant (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by enterfornone on Thu May 03, 2001 at 10:21:43 PM EST

people attatch a buzz word to something that doesn't really need to be differenciated from other things. take peer to peer. peer to peer is nothing new, it's just transferring files from one machine to another, which has been done since the dawn of computer networks. but because it is a buzzword now people thing it needs to be talked about in isolation of other forms of data transfer. when you look at the issues supposedly involved in peer to peer (from the link in rusty's story) you can see that most of these apply to the net in general. there is no special case of peer to peer than needs seperate disussion.

same goes for online communities. there may been a need to discuss specific communities, there may be a need to discuss communities in general, there may be a need to discuss better ways for human communication on the net, but i can't see any reason why onine communities need to be some special case that need to be discussed in isolation any more than there should be a pie competition where pies baked from recipies found on the net should be judged seperatly from pies baked from recipes found elsewhere. there are no isssues that are specific to online communities.

it just seems to me that since online communities has become a buzzword, like peer to peer, people are trying to market it as if it's somthing important where it's just an obvious application of the net which has been around for years.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Issues specific to online communities (none / 0) (#46)
by driph on Thu May 03, 2001 at 10:38:04 PM EST

There are no isssues that are specific to online communities.
Sure there are. Accountability and surrounding issues is the the first(and in my opinion, one of the most imporant) that immediately pops into my mind that needs to be handled in a new way compared to traditional RL communities. Straddling this is the ability to maintain privacy and anonymity, when necessary.

Other issues, such as managing diverse groups from all over the globe, member participation and involvement in decision-making and development, retaining member interest, and technical issues such as structure, systems, etc do all cross-over and can be[have been] used by traditional communities or just web sites in general, but that doesn't make them any less important to us, it just means that there is more reference material to build upon.

Another would be leveraging online communities, particularly within the political and activism arenas.

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]

InterComm: The Internet Community Conference | 46 comments (43 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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