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discussion about Discordia | 8 comments
[new] Finding a balance (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#3)
by Aileen on Mon Apr 19th, 2004 at 06:13:58 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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What makes a conversation interesting? How are online relationships established?

In the process of looking at different ways to organize working together online for a specific project, I started realizing a special quality of personal emails or exchanges limited to a small group: trying to filter out theoretical discussions that could be more generally interesting from personal comments, initially I was a bit startled to realize just how personal some of my comments were in this exchange. Sitting at the computer late at night by myself, writing emails often feels like talking to myself or just thinking with my fingers. On the other hand, though, reading through past exchanges, I also realized how a sense of trust has grown out of these exchanges and why that matters - which I just realized that I have already tried to describe on Discordia before .

Personal comments that may be appropriate in a private exchange at a particular time (e.g. a delay explained by a child having a crisis, a need for more careful proofreading because of eyes tired from crying, all the many good or at least understandable reasons why authors can't finish their texts by the agreed deadline) may look very out of place at a later time or in an unexpected place (like printed out along with the more pertinent points for a meeting). Although personal blogs may provide a platform for personal thoughts, a platform like Discordia is intended to be a public forum for certain topics, so that even I tend to be more cautious about what I post.

But where is the middle ground between trivial personal remarks and academic discussions that can be found already on a host of mailing lists and online publications? How can a "community" be formed without a sense of trust that comes from knowing one another, when any anonymous stranger can be reading along for any reason or just by chance?

discussion about Discordia | 8 comments


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