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The Life Cycle of Discussion Groups.

 
 
fresco
 
Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2002 02:08 am
Following on from " The Demise of Abuzz", I have been contemplating possible factors influencing our participatory motivation in such groups.

Possible Factors.

1. Limited number of "argument modes". (e.g. I recognise in myself and others a general set of common themes which tend to re-emerge to the extent that we forget what we have said to specific participants on particular threads)

2. Limited set of "interesting questions". ( Most philosophical themes repeat consistently e.g. What is...life/truth/time/..etc. Religious and political questions tend to end up with polarized opinion camps).

3. Lack of paralinguistic features. (Unlike face to face communications we do not have secondary signalling techniques such as facial expressions or tone of voice which enhance the nuances of discussion).

It seems to me that this provisional list (which I hope you will add to)
would inevitably tend to mitigate against long term membership of individuals, despite the continued existence of "the forum" per se. In other words, we will tend to "pass through" tlike individual atoms contributing temporarily to "a body". And such a body may indeed a natural lifespan.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2002 08:11 am
One of the main reasons why discussion groups (and chat rooms and Usenet groups) die off is due to not attracting new members and becoming too insular. Yes, you're right - a lot of the same stuff is discussed over and over again, ad nauseum sometimes. However, that tendency is diminished considerably if new members keep coming in.
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Kail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 05:29 pm
I'm actually writing a tutorial on community moderation for phpBB ATM. Look over at phpBB.com/phpBB for some good topics on communities and how they work.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 05:31 pm
Hey, Boss (i mean you, Kail) could you provide us a link?

To do so, just type the UBB code: [URL] followed by the name of the link, and closed with [/URL]

You probably already know UBB code, but i thought i make sure.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 05:38 pm
Good observations, there, Jefe (hee hee). The first two, of course, apply to face-to-face interpersonal conversation, as well, and without a regular input of new experiences, either separate or shared, repetition or silence is bound to set in...

Meself, I've pretty much ceased to use the web as a medium of debate, for the reasons you've stated. This is pretty much a source of amusement and a sounding board now, which is why I (for one) tend to gravitate toward the digressionary threads. Topicality is so limiting, in the long run.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 05:49 pm
Re needing fresh people added to keep things lively: I guess so, but then in "real" life (i.e., flesh and blood relationships), our connections tend to be finite, or at least they evolve slowly. Yet somehow it works. (Or doesn't, but that's grist for another mill.)

Seems that if the folks who post here are congenial, it can work--many of them frequently surprise and entertain me on a varietyof topics!
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 06:47 pm
An interesting problem I run into is the difficulty in expounding at length on a point (though I gives it a try now and then) precisely because there's no one there to interrupt me! Absent any sort of cues as to whether I'm on the right track -- or, if I am, if anybody gives a rat's ass -- it's hard to tell whether or not to go on, and on, and on with something. It's too fast to be correspondence, but too slow to be conversation.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 06:58 pm
For what it's worth, I usually give at least a mouse's ass, pd. Very Happy

"Discussion" is a broad term, and I think the nature of the discussion makes a difference. More fact-based discussion/ knowledge sharing is more finite. More community-based discussion (digressions et al) is more analagous to "real life" interactions, in that you get to know certain people and certain backstories, but the personality itself is what becomes interesting.

Definitely needs ongoing infusion of new people to keep it that way, though. Hubby and I were recently musing when we were hanging out with some people we didn't know well that it was nice to have a new audience -- we enjoy listening to each other's stories, but don't usually tell them to each other when it's just us. ("There was this one time in Paris..." "Oh, you mean the missed flight?" "Uh, yes.")
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 07:04 pm
Well, yeah, you're weird. Eh... Still, there is none of the sort of egging on that goes on in a real-life conversation, be it in the form of brief interjections, sublinguistic grunts, or just attentive looks. Not as fun as doing the same thing heatedly over pitchers of beer. Boss might notice that, though.

Sweet dreams, kids...
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maxsdadeo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 07:17 pm
Let me play Keanu Reeves for a second.
While I would agree, new members are vital to the longevity of any institution, the influx of new members tends to make discussions on the main issues extremely repetitive.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 07:24 pm
Well, there's repetitive and there's fresh perspectives. I mean, I certainly can only stand so many Blue Man Group questions, but it's hard to have one definitive conversation on religion, or childrearing, or even favorite books (a changeable category, for me.)
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jan, 2003 11:19 pm
Gee, the Blue Man Group! Reminds me of my early days on Abuzz, when it seemed as if every day had a question like "Does anyone know when tickets are going on sale for the Blue Man Group's show at Boston Garden next month?" (Forgive me if I got the arena wrong; I haven't been to that fine city in decades...)
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Kail
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 08:12 am
Setanta wrote:
Hey, Boss (i mean you, Kail) could you provide us a link?

To do so, just type the UBB code: [URL] followed by the name of the link, and closed with [/URL]

You probably already know UBB code, but i thought i make sure.


Don't have any. You'll have to search.

BTW, we phpBB people call it bbCode, not UBB code. :wink:
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 10:14 am
That's ok, Boss, i don't mind if you use a goofy name . . .
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 10:22 am
Where's the hatch shell? How can I get tickets for the duck tour?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 11:45 am
Kail,

I'd like to thank you for helping with phpbb support. I learned how to tinker in a few weeks due to helpful folk such as yourself.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 12:43 pm
Patiodog- The Hatch Shell? Duck Tours?

"S-l-o-w-l-y I turn, step by step, inch by inch..........." Laughing
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HumsTheBird
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 03:54 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Patiodog- The Hatch Shell? Duck Tours?

"S-l-o-w-l-y I turn, step by step, inch by inch..........." Laughing


==============

One word (or, is it two? Laughing ):

"homework."
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 05:08 pm
Pleas proviide a proofe that a line the bissex and angle of a treeangle bissex the oposite side.
0 Replies
 
HumsTheBird
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jan, 2003 05:17 pm
patiodog wrote:
Pleas proviide a proofe that a line the bissex and angle of a treeangle bissex the oposite side.


=========

Would that (^^) be in reference to a tangential intersection with a Blue Man in the Hatshell, or, perhaps, as a triangulation of the duck coordinates in Boston?


Rolling Eyes
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