April 09, 2003

Social Excess (Software)

The excesses of "Social Software" rings really true with me. Choice quote:

But there's something about the abandonment of concepts of 'online community' and the complete rejection of familiar terms and paradigms like the message board that worries me. There seems to be a bizarre lack of history to the whole enterprise - a desire to claim a territory as unexplored when it's patently not. And more importantly a remarkable lack of implementation and experiment around the place.

Agree completely, there is a feeling as if the theorists and idle chatters are running in one direction and the coders in another. Lots of talk, and a bunch of experiments from the coders, but not that much useful stuff yet. There is definitely a regression of sorts, the current blog driven communities are actually less cohesive then the old school message board ones.

What I think is happening at the moment is a case of taking a step or two backward in order to progress forward. Blogs have some serious advantages over boards, they promote high quality writing, archive better, and are far more standards compliant. But they also are significantly more ego driven then boards, and the conversations that arise are scattershot and often hard to follow. And as a result I think there are few conversations per community member, a fact that has been offset by the continued growth of the community.

I think we'll be seeing a resurgence of the bulletin board soon in the blogsphere. Already sites like Daily Kos and the Agonist are switching over to bulletin board systems for their comments. And I have a feeling a good way to integrate blogs, RSS, and bulletin boards is going to emerge soon. Or at least I hope it will.

Posted by Abe at April 9, 2003 07:06 PM


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