On Online communitiesA few weeks ago, I was interviewed by a Mass Comm student doing a project on online communities, which also included all kinds of socially interactive media irrespective of size of participation. The questions were quite interesting and set me thinking a bit. A couple that I found worth-mentioning:
Three things that you look for in online communities
* Signal-to-noise ratio on the group/blog/newsgroup/etc: How much of the stuff on that particular piece of the web is useful or stimulating or thought-provoking?
* The relative uniqueness of the community: Given a set of pages related to a common topic or theme, what distinguishes it from the others?
* Am I allowed my own kind of space: How does the group treat lurkers, passive and active participants, members from outside the initial "seed" group. Does it let you maintain your own level of involvement or does it force patterns on you?
Then an innocuous question that turned out to be tough:
Would you put a photograph of yourself on your blog
I don't have a photo on this blog though the publishing service provides the facility to do so. Why? There is an strange, undefined reluctance. Perhaps it isn't something that most other bloggers do. Whereas on social networks like Orkut, and perhaps even on a personal (more static) webpage, I'd feel the pull of "convention" to do so. It seems to be related to the lack of peer pressure to do so, and also perhaps I would think it a little impetuous? Not sure.