Thursday, March 18, 2010

A small Burger Breakfast

Menus here:

Your booking has been confirmed with Lock n Load (Westend)

Booking Confirmation (27UU)

Lock n Load (Westend) 
Mr Greg Randolph 
Sunday 28 March 10 
9:00 AM 
0412 xxxxxx
If anyone else can come (and all Burgers and Insignificant Others are welcome), leave a message here and I'll try to increase the numbers. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Attacks on Scientology

So Senator Nick Xenophon won't let up on Scientology eh? Xeno-phon or Xenu-phon? Coincidence? I think not!

This is also a little experiment. Do Scientology's enforcers troll the web for negative comments? Do they still put rattlesnakes in your letterbox? Does L Ron Hubbard's fiction stink, even unto high heaven - and I include the ludicrous Dianetics in his fictional oeuvre?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blogs, Forums, Mailing Lists, Clubs and any other human collection

This is from 1996 when I was on quite a few tech & history mailing lists. Kind of the ancestor of the blog. Not my own work.

 Every list seems to go through the same cycle:

 1.  Initial enthusiasm (people introduce themselves, and gush a lot about how wonderful it is to find kindred souls).

 2.  Evangelism (people moan about how few folks are posting to the list, and brainstorm recruitment strategies).

 3.  Growth (more and more people join, more and more lengthy threads develop, occasional off-topic threads pop up).

 4.  Community (lots of threads, some more relevant than others; lots of information and advice is exchanged; experts help other experts as well as less experienced colleagues; friendships develop; people tease each other; newcomers are welcomed with generosity and patience; everyone -- newbie and expert alike -- feels comfortable asking questions, suggesting answers, and sharing opinions).

 5.  Discomfort with diversity (the number of messages increases dramatically; not every thread is fascinating to every reader; people start complaining about the signal-to-noise ratio; person 1 threatens to quit if *other* people don't limit discussion to person 1's pet topic; person 2 agrees with person 1; person 3 tells 1 & 2 to lighten up; more bandwidth is wasted complaining about off-topic threads than is used for the threads themselves; everyone gets annoyed).

 6a. Smug complacency and stagnation (the purists flame everyone who asks an 'old' question or responds with humor to a serious post; newbies are rebuffed; traffic drops to a doze-producing level of a few minor     issues; all interesting discussions happen by private email and are limited to a few participants; the purists spend lots of time self-righteously congratulating each other on keeping off-topic threads off the list).

 6b. Maturity (a few people quit in a huff; the rest of the participants stay near stage 4, with stage 5 popping up briefly every few weeks; many people wear out their second or third 'delete' key, but the list lives contentedly ever after).
I used to bail out at 5, unless it was something I needed to stick with for professional purposes. Sometimes I think the Blunty/Burger blogs are creeping towards 6a. Hope not. Nothing much about online communities  has changed though, even since the 80's and strange things called "Bulletin Boards". We're still people.