Looking forward to coming back to the project and experimenting. Very interested in exploring the messy as it seems to be the more challenging part of envisioning the digital commons. Great work.]]>
I could use a little clarification on what “embodied anonymity and the expansiveness of atemporality and distal relations” would entail, however, it does indeed sound messy!
I would like to assume I have some idea about the sort of crossover you’re talking about though. At least, I find relevance in that idea simply because that’s where my thesis project continues to push. I know Jeremy is familiar with Will’s thesis project, but to clarify (as best as I am able) for everyone: he’s creating an on-line networking tool to allow makers (woodworkers, techies, knitters, designers, etc.) the ability to connect in real spaces within Philadelphia. I’m making use of it for my own purposes, by trying to expand that potential network through the creation of educational forums and practical applications between users. What I’m trying to do really would not be possible without the kind of tool Will is creating. Or at least it would happen much, much more slowly.
I bring this up because I really see this being the directions the commons could go in my ideal world, at least. The whole facebook, myspace, twitter thing is really not engaging without some connection to the real world. I don’t talk to anyone on Facebook that I don’t regularly or (at least have the desire to regularly) interact with in real life. I know people get lost in things like Secondlife and World of Warcraft, but I think that’s because it offers them possibilities reality doesn’t. However, merging the virtual and physical extends the abilities of the individual in a much more significant way. (Using craigslist to find an apartment in another state / Viral political/activism campaigning / Accessing lectures from other Universities / etc.) After all, as much as one invests in any on-line activity(?) one still has responsibilities in the real world, if only to their bodies.]]>
I think our first test was a huge success in terms of interest and was an imperative step, but at the same time I think it helped us define where now to move and what to move away from. I think Sunday, if our participants show, we might possibly get some controversy. I’m hoping for! Mainly, in the sense that it will require more engagement and spice up a relationship between our experiment and the reality of our problem.
In other, more pertinent news, I am really happy with the first experiment. I think the two very different results we witnessed are really suggestive of what some of the underlying issues are in on-line debate. To be specific: the participants and their level of education as well as their engagement with the topics under discussion; how the questions are framed; and the devices and language people use specifically in the context of on-line discussions. For me this is a great start to evaluating how important each of these and other factors are in how fruitful, diverse, and respectful on-line dialogs can be. So! I’m excited for more testing and for the results to our surveys.
Moments of particular interest to me during the discussions were:
The sharing of links and citing outside sources made it easy for people to back up their points. Most people don’t carry back issues of the NY Times in their pockets so this is unique to on-line dialogs (I wonder if the other participants viewed these during or after the discussion or even at all.)
During the second discussion, one of the participants got all meta on us and attempted to lay down rules for the discussion, that each participants would speak their peace and then “pass.” The rest of the group decided the free for all was best.
Attempts to maintain contact between some of the participants in the first discussion through facebook. (easier than exchanging numbers?)
Readiness/reluctance to answer questions directly/immediately. There was a whole lot of questioning the question.
So, yeah, excited to see more and see if any patterns develop!]]>
A few of the conversation that I have had were promising but seemed not to develop. One conversation which was getting interesting “imploded” causing it to disconnect (according to the prompt but I don’t know what ‘imploded” means).
Some of the users seemed shocked to find out that I am 63, which apparently is ancient. A lot of the users disconnect suddenly for no apparent reason without even saying goodbye. I am surprised at the number of people who use the site and wonder what attracts them to it.
If people could “Think Before We Blog” and not ” Think therefore we blog” much like how we’ve managed here…
*I am committing disrespect for not rereading this tho, I’m on a break and didn’t want to lose the thought, but have to go, so apologizing for any grammitcal/spelling errors]]>