Further editorialising/woolgathering, on social software:
So Cait Hurley says to me, the Delphi message board/"forum" form is pretty good, but I can't access it with my phone. I can't just fire an email in there, because it doesn't have "blog-by-mail"-style functionality, or Smartgroups/Yahoo! Groups/listserv access. I can get in with a wireless PDA, but unless I'm running 3G (ha!), I'm going to be going in at 14000 or 9600 in b/w with no graphics.
And I said, that's all very well, but having run a massive forum for four and a half years, I think you have to accept that email lists are an old, low-fi technology, and you can create tight community bonds by making the community space a destination, rather than a constellation of live points, and one where people can express visually. Once you see a person's face, where they live and what they do, the tone of the interaction changes. The net became The Big Electronic Arguing Machine because everyone is anonymous. People find it easier to abuse people they don't know -- depersonalised figures on the other end of the line. Images change online community interaction in a radical way. (And I've married more people than Reverend Moon because of it.)
All of which is fine and lovely but doesn't solve Cait's problem with the Delphi-style system. And she's right. It needs to be the destination and the constellation. And simple. As simple as texting.
And selective in what it pushes back. I can't be subscribed to any community-powered email lists when I travel, because I wake up in the morning and run the auto-mail-grab on my handheld and there's a hundred and fifty emails there that all have to pushed down to me through a 9600 connection and I couldn't give a shit about a hundred and forty of them. Surfing a message board, I can skip over anything that looks like noise, which is the beauty of the destination-community form.
To an extent, it's about how the individual intends to participate in the social engine. Are you just sitting back and shooting blog-line entries in, just firing fuel into the system? Are you going to get deeply entwined in the system, in with the cogs and pistons of it all? Are you doing drive-bys from the street with your phone?
A modern (supermodern) internet community would seem to me to have to include all these things, all these possibilities, in its structure.
Randomly: Goddamit, I SO want Patrick Stewart to play Spider Jerusalem in a movie based on Transmetropolitan!!!! That would so rock!
*shakes head sadly* The hazards of potato guns, folks. (I'm sorry, I'm a bad bad bad person, but I truly can't help chuckling...)
I am feeling really apathetic right now. I'll tell you about my life later.