TCLP 2011-09-25 Membership and Differences in Community (Fixed)

This is a feature cast, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

Update: A listener brought to my attention a couple of spots in this episode’s audio that were very problematic. I have fixed the original audio and reposted for anyone who hasn’t yet listened to the episode.

The hacker word of the week this week is Flyspeck 3.

The feature this week is a discussion of some of my recent experiences with communities and the questions they raise.


View the detailed show notes online. You can grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

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3 Replies to “TCLP 2011-09-25 Membership and Differences in Community (Fixed)”

  1. Good show, however, my concern is that your thoughts fail to address
    wether self-selection truely makes one a “member” of a community.

    After all I can read a book about some craft, yet it is quite possible that I might not associate myself with such-and-such crafting”community.” I am starting to feel that place is essentially linked to any idea of online community.

    This is apparent both by the number of meets that many of these online collectives are now holding and the fact your own podcast is based upon such locational meets.

    For example, does my use of linux automatically qualify me as a “community” memeber? I am of the opinion that mere use of product does equal commune. Or put another way, “community begs society.” In other words, the presense of another person is required to form a true community.

    I feel this discussion is coming full circle to Gladwell’s, “weak-tie.” Which if I remember correctly is inherently linked to place.

    I also strongly disagree with your thoughts on Anonymous, as I see it as a central (possibly criminal) cell that feeds inaccurate information to its lower “members” at the behest of the leaders. Its a social hack explioiting the Anomic culture of the online world. Al ofl
    Anon’s rhetoric masks the fact that the leaders operate in complete privacy whilst insisting on transparancy for anyone they dislike or disagree with.

    So I will not, and cannot, call such a weakly-tied tele-mob, a “community.” In fact it’s an absurd notion, for example, a confrence call to New-Dehli does not in any way transfer to me such rights of Indian citizenship, just the same as a post on the Trentonian Online
    does not let me vote for the mayor of trention. And any such online chat doesn’t inherently induct any of anon’s members. The only true members are the leaders orchestrating the attacks, the rest of it is designed to mask their actions.

    To which I will reference you to a recent article in the FT via BB
    They’re watching. And they can bring you down

    Also, here is my own take on what is and is not an online “community”
    in which I address the problem somewhat more abstractly
    Anomie Online: Why Comments and Fora Don’t Equal Community

  2. I listen to your piece “Membership and Difference in Community with interest. As always, it is well thought out and crafted.

    This puts me in mind of another sort of community building. Prior to the advent of ubiquitous internet, GLBT folk often had to seek community by leaving home for the “The Big City”. This afforded the critical mass of others like themselves and allowed the building communities of identity. There is a new generation of GLBT youth that find support and community through the internet. Often people will still opt to change their locality to more fully participate in community. Being a teen is hard, and being a GLBT teen only adds to the challenges. There is some solace that, at least virtually, they know they are not alone.

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