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Speaker: Community Modelling with DAS

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  • S Brennan,

    Thanks for coming along Emma! After Saturday Night's Seance for Nam June Paik, which featured some robot shenanigans and Andrew Clifford hammering nails into a rather pathetic laptop, which the Geekosystem Geeks then carted off for a superhuman effort at reanimation (I don't think the patient survived). Sunday was another (mildly mentally exhausting) day of great presentations. Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries presented a new work that presented their new work – their flash did most of the talking, although Young Hae and Marc did have plenty to say. Luke has put some of his pics up on the Window Scene blog http://window.org.nz.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    ooo amazing post
    and the live blogging makes for brilliant reading

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    and the live blogging makes for brilliant reading

    Doesn't it, though? I'm impressed with that - people were talking really fast.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4286 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The higher-quality the content, the more cautious new users are about contributing.

    Without meaning to sound wanky, that's an issue on PA System. It's a common reason people give for not participating -- they're a bit intimidated by what's already there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Without meaning to sound wanky, that's an issue on PA System. It's a common reason people give for not participating -- they're a bit intimidated by what's already there.

    That intimidation is quite a difficult thing to get round, especially if you're running the site and you're thinking, good grief, just jump in, no-one's going to eat you.

    I do feel that the Spotlight forums should mitigate that somewhat, lower the participation threshhold, because who doesn't have a story about something?

    But trying to work out why your lurkers aren't crossing the line and joining in is enormously frustrating. By definition, you've got no feedback from them, so it's difficult to work out what they want, if anything - sometimes they're quite happy to just be lurking.

    I do think it does have its good side, though, in that it also intimdates or mitigates some of the, for want of a less offensive word, dickheads.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4286 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    it's true you do have have an amazingly large number of highly well informed and intelligent people here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    asinus asinum fricat (giggles :p)

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    it's true you do have have an amazingly large number of highly well informed and intelligent people here.

    Scary, scary bastards, is what I think you meant to say, Sue. (And I say that in an entirely loving way).

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    As a frequent lurker around these parts I'd say that the bar for posting is set very high. For a first post (on any forum) I feel like I need to be able to say something of substance which adds something new to the conversation and yet I don't want to attract too much critical attention until I've got a couple of posts under my belt and had a chance to establish myself as something other than totally useless and it's easy to get a bit paralysed waiting for the exact right moment.

    Back under my rock now.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 690 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    sometimes they're quite happy to just be lurking.

    As someone who must be on the gray line between lurker and non-lurker (average of less than 2 posts per month since Nov 06, and the last month has pushed that average up) - I often find that some-one has already said what I would have said. Combine that with the reality of work where I try to limit my blog-reading time, the conversation has often moved on by the time the kids are in bed and I get my turn at the keyboard. So, overall, I'm happy to be lurking!

    The reception here is significantly better than other places I could mention, and I think that it's the type of abuse that is prevalent in those other places that puts off '1st time commenters' in general.

    It can be a bit intimidating, but well done to PAS for great forum, even if a lot of us do a lot more reading than contributing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Isabel - I agree!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    Scary, scary bastards, is what I think you meant to say, Sue. (And I say that in an entirely loving way).


    excellent jackie

    Well see some of those scary bastards are my very dear and special friends.

    While I've spent my life amassing useless trivia like the fashion choices of Madonna through the ages and the fashion spectrum of reality television. they have actually pout their brains to good use.
    I have trouble spelling most days.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    actually on that note i do miss fiona's posts on TeeVee.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Back under my rock now.

    Come back!

    It seems like every time someone posts along these lines, it turns out that they actually write quite well ..

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Luke has put some of his pics up on the Window Scene blog http://window.org.nz.

    That's a nice site.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Stephanie,

    We long-time lurkers like to take things slowly - read PA since it's year dot, watch the intro of PA System and see the regular contributers grow, feel the urge to comment but chicken out on numerous occasions, eventually nervously register, lurk a bit longer - and then bingo! Post something tentative. Like this. The process has been a little like choking back a sneeze - aah aah - aah - choo! Even now I feel tentative - part of me wants to apologise for sneezing on you all.

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2007 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    For the rest of the day, people came up to me wanting to talk about making communities female-friendly. I'm not sure what was more telling: people wanting to phrase the issue in gender terms, or how uncomfortable I was doing it. To me it's a matter of making communities feel safe for people, which I feel is particularly important for shared artistic endeavours.

    I mentioned this in my Webstock speech: I tend to use the female contributors as a bellwether. If the women are uncomfortable, then maybe the situation needs intervention.

    Not that our female contributors can't handle a robust environment (certainly not since the formation of the Women's XV), but it seems they have a better sense of social tone.

    Just a theory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    it seems they have a better sense of social tone.

    That's an interesting idea.

    I do remember dealing with one particular situation last year where we had a writer (female, as it happened) who was making people uncomfortable with her comments. Not only were the (female) staff aware that people were uncomfortable even though no-one said anything to us, but we were also aware (somehow) that she didn't KNOW she was upsetting people. And it was simply that the tone of her comments wasn't right for the site, it wasn't 'appropriate'. Didn't fit our unspoken gestalt.

    We had a quiet word to her, she apologised, and then people started sneaking up and quietly thanking us for dealing with it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4286 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I tend to use the female contributors as a bellwether. If the women are uncomfortable, then maybe the situation needs intervention.

    Canaries in a goldmine?

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1276 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    they have a better sense of social tone.

    Which may, or may not, be such a good thing. I attended a course about "Productive Conversations" yesterday. Really interesting, in that the speaker, Carol Cardno, has spent 20 years researching what constitutes productive conversation, and what are the barriers to it. She was talking about educational settings but, of course, it applies to all relationships. The term applies mostly to spoken dialogue, not written, but I couldn't help feel that it could apply to all our dealings, when she spoke of womens' general need to keep things "nice" and "nonconflict oriented". We don't know how to disagree effectively, it seems. Food for thought.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    i wonder if like me, on PA some other women just can't be arsed getting into a heated discussion

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I have gotten into heated discussions occasionally, but usually, it's just not worth it. Sooner or later, you've said your piece, and all you are doing is shouting it all over again - futile. I shrug my shoulders and move on, and do something sensible, like feeding my kids.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1276 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    i wonder if like me, on PA some other women just can't be arsed getting into a heated discussion

    Zita was saying, with the ADA mailing list, that having a bit of conflict going gets the level of activity up. Gets people talking. I remember the same philosophy being used at Realms of Insanity, which was a Chch-based BBS back in the early nineties.

    It doesn't work for us. We have too many people of the type who are just completely turned off by yelling, and walk away. We lose more than we gain, but I can see how it works in some other forums.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4286 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Mike Graham wrote :

    I often find that some-one has already said what I would have said. Combine that with the reality of work where I try to limit my blog-reading time, the conversation has often moved on by the time the kids are in bed and I get my turn at the keyboard.

    This is also very true for me.

    Isabel Hitchings wrote :

    ... and yet I don't want to attract too much critical attention until I've got a couple of posts under my belt and had a chance to establish myself as something other than totally useless ...

    Well you've achieved that with your very first post. Well done.

    Stephanie wrote :

    Post something tentative. Like this. The process has been a little like choking back a sneeze - aah aah - aah - choo! Even now I feel tentative - part of me wants to apologise for sneezing on you all.

    Thank you ! I thoroughly enjoyed being "sneezed" on (laughing out loud is so good for you). As Russell so aptly put it (with a typical Kiwi understatement) ...

    It seems like every time someone posts along these lines, it turns out that they actually write quite well ..

    My wife has asked me to add that she is a lurker too. She doesn't post, because she remains emotionally attached to her comments, and gets worked up when people disagree with her (or ignore her posts). So she doesn't find the effort worth her while, and is quite happy to lurk, read and enjoy.

    (Whew ... if I'd known she had that much to say, I would have registered her myself ...)

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    It seems like every time someone posts along these lines, it turns out that they actually write quite well ..

    I'm sure there is a connection here, with causality possibly going in both directions.

    On the one hand, the type of person that doesn't lurk, but dives straight in and comments, is also less likely to worry about editing themselves, and possibly also less likely to worry about the "worthiness" of their contribution. (Fewer inhibitions implies less quality control -- but greater quantity.)
    On the other hand, the typical lurker, with (by definition!) more inhibitions about writing for public consumption; possibly less writing experience; and possibly less confidence in themselves and/or in the community reception, probably will take more care with the language and content of their first entry -- and it'll generally take some special topic, something that speaks to them personally, for them to make that first comment. (In my case, it was the arrival of David & Jen's baby.)
    But on the third hand ... once former lurkers come out and play, probably they find they can relax their guard a little (as they find the PA community isn't that scary after all). So there's less correlation between status as long-time participant, and "quality" of comments made. (Note I'm specifically referring to comments, and not to the PA blog posts here, because the latter writers generally take more responsibility for delivering interesting content.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 808 posts Report Reply

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