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Communal histories - fact or friction? | 4 comments
[new] who + what (Avg. Score: 2.00 / Raters: 1) (#3)
by amy on Mon Oct 20th, 2003 at 06:24:52 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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Yes, who participates is an issue - but also, what does "participate" mean? There are a lot of people who *read* online forums, but rarely or never post - i.e. lurkers. There are many reasons for this - responses when I ask people why they are uncomfortable posting range from feelings of overexposure ("they have 6000 subscribers!") to dislike of the often-aggressive culture ("that list is full of pompous, arrogant people; I'll just get shot down") to frustration with the volume and nature of the exchanges ("it's just a waste of time, all that bickering") or just the volume itself ("I don't have time to get involved in the discussions") to feelings of disadvantage over language or other issues ("these forums are always dominated by English speakers/professional writers/etc.") A lot of these comments led to structures and features within Discordia - but we don't pretend to solve these problems either.

But with discussion forums, I think there's at least some transparency to the problem. Not so in more formal open-histories. For example, in the nettime thread over the Johns Hopkins Wikipedia entry - the confrontational nature of the debate was evident in the nettime discussion - but probably isn't/won't be in the Wikipedia entry itself. Moreover, how many people will read the Johns Hopkins entry, have something to say about it, but not post it?

# begin amy's sig
-- Discordia is nice.
# end amy's sig

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Communal histories - fact or friction? | 4 comments


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