Online Communities

Something I guess I intuitively knew, but never really considered is that online communities are exactly that… communities.

Consider that these places have areas for interacting with other members. People do the usual thing like talk to each other. I think the key is the results of the conversation… they argue, aid other, seek info, organize, dupe each other, and even fall in love. These are the same results the interaction of individuals we expect in our physical communities.

As we are individuals and each have our own expectations and point-of-view we need rules. Not so much to restrict our will as to provide guidance on expectations of behavior. People tend to move is disparate directions without a societal focus and rules help streamline processes and provide one or a few ways of doing things.

No human created body of rules are perfect. So there is always room for improvement. Thus some rules may be changed from time to time to facilitate improving processes. For online communities this means that Terms of Service agreements become ammended. As any change scares people, the changes are interpolated and some members become nervous. This adding meaning to TOSs I think is a little irrational and sometimes appears… vindictive? It almost seems like some people attempt to use changes to the TOS as rationale to distance others from the community.

Once people realize that we are all members of communities and need each other and the rules which guide us I think that our communities will once again thrive. As long as members of communities forget that they need each other the health of the community will wane until it dies.

[Friday, March 2, 2001] [08:30 a.m.]

Think this will be my new way of looking at things…



[Friday, March 2, 2001] [10:31 a.m.]

Maybe this is karmic, but the this Fast and the last events have conspired to have social events (means people talking over food) the first day. Odd, huh?


Privacy & Transparency Balance

Before I get sucked into the rant… check out the Women’s Studies Conference at VSU being web cast.

How does one separate the conflict between privacy and open information acts? People have a higher expectations of openness for government than for corporations. Someone applying to become president of just about any corporation could expect their identity to not be revealed until they are a finalist for the position. Someone applying for any government job whether president of university or directory of an agency could easily be exposed by these requirements that the identities of applicants be accessible to the public. With government we want every character of data to be accessible to the public because? Because we do not trust government. We feel that for them to do an adequate job that every decision must be available to the public to make them accountable. Corporations enjoy the luxury of a smaller base of people to which they usually feel accountable… their stockholders.

Why don’t we trust government? I’d suggest that much of the distrust is contrived. The media and special interest groups must make us distrust government to push their agendas.

This “us” against “them” mentality is the disease that will ultimately bring this nation to its knees. We have seen this so many times before… and yet when confronted with situations we fall into the trap over and over again. When will we learn? Some like to yell “Never!” Others like to bring complex reasons for why it has happened. Think that we will learn that cooperation does work better than confrontation when we have no where else to go.

Hit 500 Visitors

Just need 11 more visitors to give my home page 500 visitors.

I really like Site Meter’s site tracker as it even predicts how much traffic I am likely to get based upon the last hour, week, or month results.

Just 5 more visitors to The Fountain of Knowledge to hit 500. Seems the more active I am on email lists the more visitors to my web site. [Editors note: I knew that posting email to mailing lists generates traffic, just did not realize that I could get on average 2-3 visitors per email per day.]

Men are like fine wine

Should I or should I not up up the web cam? Comments welcome in the guestbook or email to me… 🙂

A quote I picked up this weekend…

Men are like fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it’s up to women to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with

Wish I knew the source… lots of jokes sites have it. Too many without the source to find the few that might.


Due to some email server issues, my home page at this time is not available… Should be back some time this morning.

Everything is cool now… *whew*!

Here is maybe my new favorite site… Science Fiction and Fantasy World with a review of the start of the A Song of Fire and Ice series A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords

This is pretty funny…. A Microsoft Technet entry: HOWTO: RTFM

The spirit and intelligence of man is essential

I’ve typed up a long quote that I really like. The parts best liked are bolded.

Let us now discover more specifically how he [man] is the image and likeness of God and what is the standard or criterion by which he can be measured and estimated. This standard can be no other than the divine virtures which are revealed in him. Therefore, every man imbued with divine qualities, who reflects heavenly moralities and perfections, who is the expression of ideal and praiseworthy attributes, is, verily in the image and likeness of God. If man possesses wealth, can we call him an image and likeness of God? Or is human honor an notoriety the criterion of divine nearness? Can we apply the test of racial color and say that man of a certain hue — white, black, brown, yellow, red — is the true image of his Creator? We must conclude that color is not the standard and estimate of judgement and that it is of no importance, for color is accidental in nature. The spirit and intelligence of man is essential, and that is the manifestation of divine virtues, the merciful bestowals of God, the eternal life and baptism through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, be it known that color or race is of no importance. He who is the image and likeness of God, who is the manifestation of the bestowals of God, is acceptable at the threshold of God — whether his color be white, black, or brown; it matters not. Man is not man simply because of bodily attributes. The standard of divine measure and judgement is his intelligence and spirit.

‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.70

See the light

Somehow, I guess I do like holding people’s hands and helping them see the light.

*yawn* better go home. Email does not work so I obviously can’t do anything, right? If I go home now, then if it mysteriously comes back I will not have to work?

Nevermind… the web works (reliable, rock-solid [I built it after all] )… means I can do my job, just not let anyone know I am doing it… 🙂