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it's the people, stupid


Clay Shirky on Social Structure in Social Software. Really interesting discussion. Quote:

Group rules like Robert's Rules of Order protect groups from falling into these patterns and thus protect the group from itself. Clay gives an example of BBS systems in the 1970's that started out as "open access" and "freedom of speech" were "overrun" by teenage boys who wanted to talk about bathroom jokes, sex, etc. The group didn't have enough structure to fend off these "attacks" on the group. This was a social issue, not a technological issue. "An attack from within is the pattern that matters."
If 'social software' is to be anything except a buzzword, we'll need to create tools that let the group "defend" against these kinds of "attacks" on its social structure. And easily, not by requiring the user to press Ctrl+Alt+W+X+F1 while standing on one foot and looking west. Spam is the same kind of threat to e-mail (except that email is a world-wide, decentralized social network).

And speaking of spam. The amount of spam I've been getting these past week or so has been astonishing, which has led me to give even more thought to good spam filtering in clevercactus. I'm getting something like 150 messages a day. Okay, maybe half of those are worms (that new "support@microsoft.com" worm that I started seeing about a week ago). Since I'm not the only one, there must be something else going on... some kind of quarterly release of new spam lists or something to these lowlifes (or is that "lowlives"?) that have nothing better to do than destroy our ability to work by hijacking our communication channels for idiotic offers for viagra and such crap. Scott had good entry on the subject last month. And make no mistake, as with social software, this is not a technology problem, it's a people problem. Or a people "feature," depending on your viewpoint. :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on May 27 2003 at 12:56 PM

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