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Subject: Re: Definition of community Rather than asking other people to do your research......
From: Ryan Lanham <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ryan Lanham <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 19 Sep 2006 22:16:48 -0400
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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

>Can Google do that?
>
>Alvin

1. There is an apparently na´ve general request deemed by an authority to be
suspect and it is ridiculed so that the shame will create adverse incentives
for others who might be encouraged to be na´ve or shallow.  

2. The network does not break into police dysfunction, but heals with
counter entrants.  Sort of a SOCnet immune response--a faint democratic
protest of sorts.  The healing is to reputations and levels of trust--some
of which might also come into doubt because someone exercised police power.

It was most likely a perception that there was a cost to wasting a large
number of email reads that motivated the police action.  It also probably
had elements of ego and responsibility attached.  Its delivery was not
gentle because shame was probably intended.  Such a threat probably further
stokes empathic feelings.  

Thus, others object that the shaming judgment is rash--showing empathy
perhaps.  A normative equilibrium sets in and "scar tissue" in the social
network begins to heal.

Someone else makes sense about the whole occurrence and tries to describe
it.

The old beer drinking crowd of SunBelt sneers that SOCnet has gone to hell.
Their preference might be to keep the club small--but that creates its own
issues.

The organization/community/network/self-organizing system shifts because its
leaders become less able to exercise editorial control based on their
founding roles.  Some original levels of relationship have shifted because
of the events of a situation, but we don't know how to measure them or even
describe them terribly well.

A prospect exists that SOCnet diffuses to meaninglessness because the
come-up-ants don't have the gravitas to draw in eavesdroppers nor are they
likely to have the budgets to get on an airplane to drink beer and have real
conversations at SunBelt where prestige can grow and prospects for heuristic
understanding in conversations can improve.  Some consider trying harder for
airfare, and others drop off the net doubting they can be part of the core
participants.  

An uneasy dichotomy and interconnection exists between personally
interactive social networks, informal ones, and electronic versions of both
that are overlayed.

Show me a social network theory that can begin to make sense of that little
episode and I think I can help you define community.

Ryan Lanham           

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