[NetBehaviour] Communication in Online Communities

Randall Packer rpacker at zakros.com
Wed Oct 7 16:59:23 CEST 2015

This has been quite an enlightening conversation for me, I am so used to hearing people complain bitterly about email: no one reads it, email fans the flames of misunderstanding, there is too much of it, it is all consuming, it is taking over my life, I hate it, etc. However, here on this list, I sense a kind of aura around the simplicity and ease of email as an intimate medium of exchange, pure conversation, free of the political and economic tyranny of social media systems and data appropriation. This powerful embrace of the email listserv explains why NetBehaviour, Crumb, Empyre, etc. have been so resilient over the years as the technological landscape has evolved and transformed itself over and over again: the email list  provides sanctuary, so it seems, for those who have worked hard and invested their time in carving out these virtual, online communication spaces. 

But there is one more question that I don’t believe has been addressed, the idea of the knowledge repository. If email is the channel of choice, at least here on NetBehaviour, what are we creating together? Is it free flowing conversation as though dropping into the local café? Is it virtual community? Is it a space for co-creation? Is it a new form of publishing? Is it a medium for improvisation? A channel for sharing work? Or is it all of these things: and what could be built from the accumulated wealth of information recorded here? 

From:  <netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Annie Abrahams
Reply-To:  NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Date:  Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 5:05 AM
To:  NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Subject:  Re: [NetBehaviour] Communication in Online Communities

Of course we should keep the list.

But you can't talk about all things in depth here. Sometimes I get very interesting reactions via facebook, maybe because I am connected there to more people interested in a certain subject than on netbehaviour, maybe because I can easier involve them personnally? 
You can discuss on facebook : Proof : https://aabrahams.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/empathy-and-intimacy-in-networked-performances/ and http://e-stranger.tumblr.com/post/91057047296/talking-code-and-emotions

I don't really know what this means for this discussion, but we should stay in reality and not fool ourselves. 


On Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 4:25 AM, Pall Thayer <pallthay at gmail.com> wrote:

I haven't been following all of this discussion but some of it. John Hopkins' comment made me want to reply.

It's hard to tell a well-functioning and successful mailing list that mailing lists aren't "the thing" anymore. But they aren't. Don't get me wrong, I love Netbehaviour and do so for all of the reasons that it shouldn't work in the modern net-world. The internet has evolved into this fleeting-moment thing. Anything that isn't picked up within 30 minutes is old and abandoned. Obviously, this is not at all conducive to lengthy and detailed examination or contemplation. It reduces everything to quick, witty comments that lend little or no meat to the actual issue.

Please, please, please do not change Netbehaviour.

Look at what happened to Rhizome. They made subtle changes to their platform that caused everyone to abandon it. They tried to claim that it was facebook rather than their changes that killed the mailing lists but it was their decision to stop nurturing Rhizome as a community and become an online "journal" (or whatever you might call it) instead.

Personally, I don't care about facebook and other platforms harvesting my information and even benefiting from it. It's like Douglas Rushkoff implied, if you're not a paying customer, you're the product being sold. Either you use the service and accept that or you don't use the service at all. You can't use the service AND complain about the service's methods of financing your use of it. Regardless of any notions of what platforms like facebook and twitter may have been created for, it's very obvious that they're not used for meaningful debate or discussion. Try initiating a meaningful discussion on facebook... I guarantee that it will quickly dissolve into anecdotes, funny (or not) gifs and other comments that lend nothing to the original post. That's just what you do on facebook and what a lot of people appear to want from their online interactions.

Having access to a mailing list that actually promotes and fosters in-depth discussion of emergent subjects is invaluable and it is why we're all here. I know that a lot of you are on facebook, we're "friends". But Netbehaviour is where we come for the "real" stuff.

Best r.

On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 9:46 PM John Hopkins <chazhop at gmail.com> wrote:
On 06/Oct/15 05:18, Joumana Mourad wrote:
> Can anyone share why FB, G+, or any of the discussion platforms did not
> work?

For me, I don't know about other folks, but I refuse to use those other
platforms that harvest my information. I used to be an early adopter with
different technologies as I was teaching about techno-social engagement, but I
bailed completely on FB in 2010 after being on it for a few years,

  So it's email or bulletin boards or posting on my own web space, if that
doesnt 'work' oh well. ... Obviously the NSA has access to everything that I can
implement, but at least I can limit the access that commercial interests have to
my data... And, being outside the FB bubble, one pays a price (like my
'connection' with my family is quite limited because few of them will send
emails ever. So, there is always a price to be paid when one does not
participate in the dominant social protocols...


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