User talk:Reagle/QICs

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Questions, Insights, Connections[edit]

Leave your question, insight, and/or connection for each class here. I don't expect this to be more than 4 to 6 sentences. Make sure it's unique to you. For example:

  • Here is my unique question (or insight or connection).... And it is signed. -Reagle (talk) 19:54, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Be careful of overwriting others' edit or losing your own: always copy your text before saving in case you have to submit it again.

Sep 11 Tue - Persuasion[edit]

Teamwork is supposed to make the dream work. But how exactly do you get a team to do the work? Chapter 2 in Kraut and Resnick's book "Building Successful Online Communities" addresses the question of persuading members of a community to contribute toward the community's goals. There are several ways to persuade and motivate people towards contribution. Kraut and Resnick define motivation as a function of expectancy and value, where expectancy refers to a potential contributor's belief that their input would accomplish a goal, and value is a measure of how important the goal or project is to them. (p.23) They differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, actions completed for one's own imperative or personal goals versus actions taken to be validated or rewarded by others. (p.24)

The second reading, "The Science of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini for Scientific American, approaches persuasion from a different angle, identifying six "basic tendencies of human behavior" that influence who or what a person may be persuaded by. By the test of obtaining a person's compliance with a request, reciprocation, consistency, social validation, liking, authority, and scarcity are all explored as factors that influence whether a person will be persuaded. (p.76)

From these readings, the concept that stood out most to me is the potential "deleterious effects" of using a social validation tactic. (p.78) The example that Cialdini gives, of anti-pollution ads that backfired in attempts to curb littering and pollution by saying how commonly it is done, which makes people feel as if everyone is littering, so why shouldn't they just do it too? Attempting to translate that notion of unintentionally validating bad behavior from anti-pollution ads to the world of online communities, I feel as if there is a connection there to anti-trolling and anti-harassment campaigns targeted at places like Reddit and 4chan. I wonder if messages calling for increased civility online that invoke the abuse that happens online, particularly thinking back to an event like Gamergate, have made the same mistake of unintentionally validating and encouraging that type of abuse by noting how common it is? Essentially, if an anti-pollution ad that says it's common to litter makes people feel like everyone else is littering and they should be too, have anti-harassment messages that reference the rampant abuses online had the same type of effect in making people feel as if that behavior is socially validated? Casey.ha (talk) 00:17, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

@Casey.ha: Excellent summaries and question, let's discuss in class. That is, how should an anti-trolling campaign be framed? -Reagle (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

“Two-thirds of articles on Wikipedia are marked as stubs with very little meaningful content and may be little more than a dictionary definition” (Kraut & Resnick, 2011, p.22). This quote clearly illustrates the fact that online communities must actively work to recruit and retain contributors in order to be successful. The chapter “Encouraging Contribution to Online Communities” suggested many ways to persuade users to contribute to communities. For example, providing lists of what is needed seems to be a particularly motivating action because it makes it easier for new contributors to know how they can help (p. 26). I also found it interesting that asking people directly is more successful than just putting out a general call for help (p. 27). This seems like a great way to make the online world, which often brings about a sense of anonymity, feel more personal. I see how these tactics can break down barriers to active participation.

The second reading explained the “art of persuasion” by highlighting “six basic tendencies of human behavior that come into play in generating a positive response: reciprocation, consistency, social validation, liking, authority and scarcity” (p. 76). These tendencies were first studied in the offline world can also be successfully applied to encourage participation in online communities.

One thing that I felt was not directly addressed in the readings, but that I became curious about, is how online communities can make themselves more approachable to new members. For example, I have never contributed to discussions on Reddit because I think the jargon, norms, and rules can be confusing and have noticed that the community is often very unkind to those who violate them. I see this as a barrier that may stop people who could be competent contributors and who have identified how they can help from becoming an active member of the community. What tactics can online communities use to combat this? Dipilato.k (talk) 12:42, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: Excellent summaries and question, this is something we'll be discussing all semester really. -Reagle (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

In “Building Successful Online Communities”, Karut claim that “motivation is a multiplicative function of expectancy.” (p.23) People are usually motivated by their expectation and the outcome they can get. We all use different methods to motivate/persuade others and make people contribute to this society or our benefits.

“Have you ever been tricked into saying yes?” The article “The Science of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdinin give the answer of why persuasion influences our community and analyze the six “basic tendencies of human behavior” to explain how people be persuaded. People usually be persuaded by reciprocation, consistency, social validation, liking, authority and scarcity. Robert B. Cialdinin illustrate different cases to interpret these six basic points of persuasion. (p.76)

According to this reading, I think persuasion also related to the culture. For example the point of “liking”, in Chinese culture people tend to use liking or friendship and people who you know to decide a person’s success. “Liking” could be a tool to persuade others help you to finish a work or business. For instance, in china we always said that a dinner could let a businessman to drum up a business. People likely to introduce their friends to each other at the dinner table and use the friendship to obligate others for help. On the other hand, the sic basic tendencies are connect to each others. When people got the help from the “liking”, people start to using reciprocation because everyone want their works get pay back. - Hsienhsienlee (talk) 16:10, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

@Hsienhsienlee: Excellent summaries and good point about culture. We'll touch on this issue of culture differences in class today. -Reagle (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2018 (UTC)


Sep 14 Fri - A/B testing[edit]

The first reading this week was a Wired article titled "The A/B Test: Inside the Technology That’s Changing the Rules of Business." The author starts by telling an anecdote about Dan Siroker, a former Google employee who brought the concept of A/B testing to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Siroker would go on to lead Optimizely, a company that makes A/B testing accessible to everyone (Christian, 2012).

In addition to highlighting the successes of A/B testing for the Obama campaign, the article also goes on to list four ways A/B testing is changing business. The first is that is allows companies to try many options and the second is that it allows data to make decisions rather than senior management. The third item on the list outlines a major risk of A/B testing, which is only ever making small improvements rather than trying an entirely new idea. The fourth concept is another potential drawback, A/B testing does not allow time for learning. This means that in the fast paced testing environment you can identify what is doing well, but won’t take the time to identify why that particular option is doing well (Christian, 2012).

During this reading, I was reminded of two work experiences where I have used A/B testing. The first is while I was doing marketing at a technology startup. We were working on a landing page for a new app and wanted to include a video rather than screenshots of the app. A lot of marketing research suggests that the use of video boosts engagement However, after A/B testing we found that users preferred the still version, which is a situation in which instinct was not correct.

The second example was while I was on co-op at the Boston Globe. The staff there regularly uses A/B testing on headlines. While working here, I would check the site’s homepage several times per day and I often noticed when the headlines would change. I always wondered if subscribers who were refreshing the page frequently for updates would also notice the differing headline tests and how, if at all, this impacts their online experience. Perhaps they could find it misleading to see the same story with different headlines? Dipilato.k (talk) 15:48, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Sep 18 Tue - Gaming motivation[edit]

The first reading was about how to leverage intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to encourage participation in online communities. The four intrinsic motivations discussed were social contact, optimal challenge, mastery, and motivation. The extrinsic motivators described in the chapter were reputation or status markers, privileges, and tangible rewards. Utilizing extrinsic motivators did have drawbacks including individuals who may game the system in order to unfairly earn rewards. In addition, it was found that providing extrinsic motivators for activities that were already intrinsically motivating may actually decrease participation. This is primarily true when the extrinsic reward is monetary (Kraut, 2011). This finding is something I would not have expected, but is particularly useful. I think that most would assume that adding a monetary reward always makes tasks more interesting which is not the case.

The second reading explored the rating system at Photo.net, a site where photographers post, rank, and comment on photos. The article examined many aspects of the site including its numerical rating system, what genres are most popular, how some users game the system for benefit or revenge, the benefits and drawbacks of reviewing anonymously, and etiquette on the site. One of the most interesting conclusions described is how often “fixes” to manipulation online lead to additional manipulation (Reagle, 2015). This is something that I had not previously thought of, but is an important lesson to learn if trying to run an online community so users do not consistently take advantage of the platform.

While reading both of these pieces, I kept thinking about Instagram. This platform has similarities to Photo.net because it also allows people to comment on photos posted by others. Instead of a numerical ranking system, users decide whether or not to like a photo. In Kraut’s discussion of intrinsic motivators he mentions that performance feedback can enhance motivation to perform tasks. The liking and comments on Instagram serve as this feedback which can encourage users to post more often always trying to get the most likes. I wonder if Instagram’s feedback method of either liking something or not may be a more effective motivator than photo.net’s Numeric scale because it may be less upsetting if someone chooses not to like your photo (maybe they didn’t even see it) than if someone judges the photo and ranks is poorly. Dipilato.k (talk) 22:48, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: great summary and contemporary application. I recommend numbering your QICs so you don't lose track -Reagle (talk) 17:02, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Revenge Rating and Tweak Critique at Photo.net (Reagle, 2015) discusses the struggle with how to give value to something as subjective as photographs on the photo rating system Photo.net. Being one of the first photo voting sites in existence, it faced a dilemma with how to best implement a rating system. Of the 6 characteristics of digital evaluation systems, I was especially interested in the idea that Quantitative mechanisms beget their manipulation. With Photo.net, this was demonstrated by downvoting and negative commenting. Certainly, people feel more comfortable with doing so when there is a screen to hide behind. This made me think of Facebook’s rating system, in which there are 6 various emoticons to choose from. This doesn’t necessarily rate something as “good” or “bad”, but rather how the viewer interprets what they are seeing or reading. What may cause a sad reaction out of one person could draw a heart reaction out of another.

This can be thought of in conjunction with Design Claim 18 (Kraut pp 47, 2011): Performance feedback - especially positive feedback - can enhance motivation to perform tasks. Positive feedback might not be possible through a numerical rating system, because a 7/10 may be seen as an excellent score to some, and a failure to others. Also, using comments for critiquing can be misinterpreted or misunderstood. I think that Facebook addresses these concerns by adding the emoticon option, which gives people a more clear understanding with how viewers react to their content. Moreno.ci (talk)

@Moreno.ci: excellent connection. I recommend numbering your QICs so you don't lose track -Reagle (talk) 17:02, 18 September 2018 (UTC)


Sep 21 Fri - Wikipedia project start[edit]


Sep 25 Tue - Kohn on motivation[edit]

4. The first reading was about rewards and why they fail. The two chapters covered five reasons rewards fail. The first four reasons were discussed more briefly. They were rewards punish, rewards rupture relationships, rewards ignore the reasons people do not want to do things in the first place, and rewards discourage risk taking. The second chapter focuses entirely on the fifth reason rewards fail, which is the fact that rewards eliminate the intrinsic motivation that produces optimal performance. The chapter explains that whenever a reward is introduced, the intrinsic motivation is decreased which will lead to lower effort and lower enjoyment. These two chapters outlined the many reasons that focusing on intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic rewards or punishments will be more successful.

The second reading discussed resentment on the now defunct site Gittip, which was a website where people could pay creators for free content they have produced. For example, they can reward Youtubers or software developers on GitHub. The author lists four suggestions regarding the resentment found on Gittip. The first is not to use Gittip as a transactional website, because it is simply a place to reward people who are already intrinsically motivated and will produce things either way. The second is to place more emphasis on what the creators produce and less emphasis on the payments they receive. Next, the author points out that resentment is not the problem of the person you resent, it is something you need to work on within yourself. Finally, the author suggests joining a Gittip Team where all team members split the money the team received for the week to form positive relationships on the site.

Reading these two passages consecutively made it easy for me to see why Gittip was not successful. The entire site was based around providing extrinsic rewards for things people were intrinsically motivated to do. As the first reading highlighted, this will greatly reduce the creators’ motivation, which in turn may reduce the quality of their content. When the content quality and quantity decrease, the users who were paying them will then pull back their contributions and both sides will be left disappointed. People who put free content on the internet because it is something they enjoy doing do not need the extrinsic motivation so this website tried to solve a problem that did not exist. Dipilato.k (talk) 16:23, 24 September 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: but isn't Patreon based on the same thing? Why does it succeed then? -Reagle (talk) 17:14, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

"Punished by Rewards," by Alfie Kohn, outlines why rewards are ineffective motivators. Chapter 4 provides four brief reasons why rewards fail: they punish, they rupture relationships, they ignore reasons, and they discourage risk-taking. Chapter 5 is dedicated to a fifth reason why rewards fail: they decrease, or even eliminate, the intrinsic motivation to do something.

I was initially surprised to see that there was a whole book explaining why rewards don't work, but Kohn's continued use of examples of a child or student encountering rewards and being discouraged or hurt by them made the case clearly.

The second reading on the topic of motivation and rewards is Chad Whitacre's statement on resentment on the platform Gittip, later named Gratipay, and now defunct. This reading also made it clear to me why rewards fail. Whittacre referred to other economies as effort-for-payment models while Gittip wanted to be a system of payment-for-effort. The site existed for creators of free content, people who were already intrinsically motivated by their own reasons to post their content online, to be paid or tipped for their work after the fact on Gittip. The introduction of the extrinsic motivation to create content, being paid on Gittip, led to decreased quality of output by the creators who were now motivated by money and not their initial intrinsic motivations. The decreased quality led to resentment from the audience/supporters, which led to resentment from the creators and set up a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction.

The problem with Gittip was exacerbated by leaderboards on the site that ranked how much people were earning. Chad Whitacre and the Gittip staff introduced Gittip 'teams' to tackle this problem. The teams were supposed to distribute earnings to different creators better and to eliminate the problem of creators who did not have a strong personal brand under-earning. I was confused by the Teams that Whitacre described and I don't really see how they would fix the issue, or why supporters would choose to support a team rather than an individual creator? I tried to check out the old Gittip and Gratipay sites to better understand the Teams but I didn't learn much. Hopefully, as someone who might have used Gittup while it was still active, you will know? I'm looking forward to the discussion of this material in class tomorrow! @Casey.ha: (talk) 21:15, 24 September 2018 (UTC)

Team Gittip describes it a bit more, but I too found it confusing. -Reagle (talk) 17:14, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

The reading “Punished by Rewards” is written by Alfie Kohn. He used two chapters to explain the the reasons of how rewards fail. He claimed that the first four reasons are reward punish, rewards rupture, rewards ignore reasons and rewards discourage risk-taking. The second chapter is more deeply focus on why the fifth reason rewards fail and give a plenty of detail examples and also list some suggestions of how minimizing the damage of the rewards. In this part, he point out people will change their feeling by reward, which cause people decrease their intrinsic motivation. On the other hand, Kohn also illustrate that if we want people to get better motivation, it might be a good idea to combine the intrinsic motivation and extrinsic reward together.

The second reading is more likely to prove how the reward fail in reality. This article talked about the resentment on Gittip, which wittren by Chad Whitacre. He described that Gittip encourage “designing to reward people who act out of intrinsic motivation, not out of extrinsic motivation(Whitacre, 2013),” which means that the Gittip is providing the extrinsic rewards for those intrinsic motivators. According the Kohn’s point, it will reduce the creator’s motivation and make the quality of contents decreased. Therefore, it is main reason why the users on Gittip get resentment.

After I read these two reading, my head pump out one question. If there is a children who ignore the extrinsic reward and does not have the intrinsic motivation. what should we do? For example, that children always get bad grade, talk in class and addict to playing the video game. His mother use different method try to motivate her son, but he still act really bad in home and school. Also, this child does not have any habits or interests to motivate himself except play the video game. How could parents or teacher motivate this children? –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 05:52, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

@Hsienhsienlee:, Kohn makes some suggestions, we can discuss in class if you think they'd be effective. -Reagle (talk) 17:14, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

Moreno QIC #11

“Punished by Rewards” from Kohn describes the reasons why rewards fail to retain membership or inspire more commitment to the community. Rewards fail because they “punish” people with the assumption that if someone does not receive a reward, it means they are in the wrong. It diminishes the uniqueness of receiving a reward. Rewards also harm relationships by pitting community members against each other and lessening the chance of collaboration. Rewards ignore reasoning by not paying attention to underlying reasons trouble developed in the first place; someone sticking a pacifier in a baby’s mouth to get it to stop crying without looking for the source of its discomfort. And finally, rewards discourage the likelihood of risk-taking. Why would people try something new when the tried and true method gets results? This can be thought of in response to standardized testing; why teach material that gets student to think outside the box when teaching to the test generates good results for schools?

Whitacre explains that resentment is feelings of internalized anger due to what is considered a wrongdoing upon themselves. He brings up the point that introducing money, or a reward, into a relationship changes how we view the relationship. In this way, resentment can occur when rewards fail people. Extrinsic motivations can cause people to become less intrinsically motivated, and they will become reliant on rewards in order to fulfill tasks. Some methods Kohn gives to offset this include offering rewards as a surprise, not as a motivator. To not create competitive contests in the pursuit of rewards. And refocusing members attention to the task at hand more so than the reward. Moreno.ci (talk) 23:58, 25 November 2018 (UTC)


Sep 28 Fri - Relational commitment[edit]

5. The first reading was part of a chapter from Kraut about commitment in online communities. The focus was on the two types of affective commitment. These are identity based affective commitment, which is a feeling of being a part of a community and wanting to help its mission and bond-based affective commitment, which is feeling close to other individual members in the group. The chapter provides suggestions for encouraging both types of commitment, a few of these include: giving the community a name and tagline, allowing people to share personal profiles of themselves with images, and recruiting new members who have existing social ties to the group. The chapter also mentions a few of the pitfalls that can come along with this type of motivation, including off topic communication pushing away those who committed because of identity and the risks of having a community grow too large.

The second reading was the first chapter of a book about comments. A comment is described as a form of communication that is social, reactive, short, and asynchronous. The chapter also discussed gossip and how it influences human interaction and comments. It also provides examples of when online communities have disabled the comments or moderated them. Finally, it uses the growth of the website Twitter to show how a community can go from being a serendipitous place to share ideas to one that is overrun with hate and spam.

While reading about identity based and bond based affective commitment, I thought of Facebook and how both types of commitment encourage me to use the site in different ways. On Facebook, my commitment is bond based when I am interacting with friends I know from the offline world online, the reason I read posts in my newsfeed is to keep up with these people I have existing relationships with. If my friends stopped using Facebook, I would no longer have a reason to use it in this way. However, I am also in a Facebook group for supporters of one of my favorite bands. In this situation, I experience identity based commitment because I do not know the members on a personal level, but I like to follow and the post in the group to gain updates about the band. In this case, people can come and go from the group but it doesn't really affect my experience as long as fans are still participating. It is interesting to see how the two types of affective commitment can come into play on the same platform.Dipilato.k (talk) 13:31, 28 September 2018 (UTC)



(Casey QIC #3) The introduction to Professor Reagle's book Reading the Comments provides an outline of the role in comments in online communities. Comment is described as a "social, reactive, short, asynchronous" form of communication. The introduction discusses gossip and human interaction before the digital age, and introduces 'Dunbar's number,' an approximation of the number of relationships that a person can manage. The chapter then describes the problems with comment sections that are vitriolic or spammed and reactions of different web platforms to that problem. Comment sections can be disabled, as in the case of Boing Boing, or they can be 'fortified' to maintain a productive sphere of communication, for example, the site MetaFilter requires a small one-time fee to comment that helps to weed out abusers and spammers. The final example the introduction gives is Twitter, a site that is essentially all comments and a site that is infamous on the web for its great amount of abuse and unproductive comments.

The Kraut and Resnick reading, the first half of Chapter 3 of Building Successful Online Communities, is about commitment in online communities. Kraut and Resnick focus on two types of affective commitment, identity-based and bond-based. Identity-based commitment refers to an affinity for being part of the community and a want to advance its goals. Bond-based commitment refers to the closeness between individual members of the community. The chapter offers many suggestions for increasing both types of commitment, as well as warnings for things that may undermine an online community, namely conversations going too far off-topic and communities growing too large, a concern that echoes Dunbar's number.

Reading the Comments was very interesting to me. I am something of a lurker in the comments sections for the websites I read daily. I don't often post a comment, though I occasionally do if I feel compelled, but I always, always read the comments. I read sites across the former Gawker Media Group (RIP) every day and those sites all employ Kinja for commenting. I like that those platforms share a commenting system and you can see the same people commenting in threads across different sites. Kinja fortifies comments by some type of moderation that I'm not sure the exact mechanics of, but people often talk about being 'stuck in the greys' or 'coming out of the greys' or 'keeping the trolls in the greys,' the greys meaning unapproved comments that can be separated or removed from the discourse. I also read the New York Times comment sections, and there I like how they offer NYT-recommended comments and reader-recommended comments as subsections from the stream of all the comments. On articles that get a lot of engagement I will first read the NYT-recommended comments, then compare those to the reader-recommended comments and see what NYT editors prioritized versus the readers, and then I will usually skim the full list of comments. It is very interesting to see the difference between the comments recommended by other readers versus the NYT-recommended comments.

Casey.ha (talk) 16:00, 28 September 2018 (UTC)


Oct 02 Tue - Needs-based and lock-in[edit]

6. The first reading outlined to additional types of commitment in online communities. The first is normative commitment, which stems from the feeling that one has obligations to the community to be loyal and to act on its behalf. The three main reasons normative commitment will form are because someone has a pre existing commitment to a cause, because there is a shared norm about the commitment, or as a result of feelings of reciprocity. The second type of commitment is needs-based commitment which refers to attachment to an online community that depends on the net benefits that people experience from the community.

The second reading was about young people leaving broadcast social media networks in favor of more intimate options. The three reasons suggested for this phenomenon are because a lot of older people are now using broadcast social media, because of how carefully young people manage their self-presentation online, and lastly because students are very aware that future schools and employers will judge them based on their social media accounts.

While reading the article, “So Long Social Media: The kids are opting out of the online public square” I kept thinking about my 17 year old sister’s activity online. She fit the profile described in the article perfectly. My sister does not have a Facebook account, but she does have an Instagram account and uses Snapchat religiously. She has year-long snapchat streaks with several people and is on snapchat constantly throughout the day. The reasons the article described for why young people are changing social media sites also apply to my sister. She does not have a Facebook because my parents have accounts. In addition, when my dad got an Instagram account, she began posting the majority of her pictures on VSCO, which my parents have no idea exists. In addition, when my sister plans to post an Instagram photo, editing it and coming up with a caption is a painstaking process because she is very concerned with her online image. As a result, I think she prefers snapchat because there is less pressure. Finally, my sister is currently applying to college and has made all her accounts private and has deleted a lot of the content from her Twitter account. I think she is much more careful than I was about what schools or employers could learn about her from social media. Overall, when applying the article to the “coolest” young person in my life the author’s claims really ring true. Dipilato.k (talk) 17:03, 1 October 2018 (UTC)


(Casey QIC #4) Pages 102-115 in the Kraut and Resnick book are on the subject of normative commitment and needs-based (or continuance) commitment in online communities, as well as a summary of the design claims presented in Chapter 3. Normative commitment depends on the norms of a community and behavior within it and people’s adherence to norms. Needs-based commitment depends on users getting something out of the community and staying there to continue fulfilling a need.

In addition to the Kraut and Resnick reading, we read a short article on the website The Conversation discussing the move by young people from outward facing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to more intimate messaging spaces like Snapchat and group messages.

Something that was immediately interesting to me in the first paragraph of the "So long social media" article was how much of the social media-market share that Instagram, owned by Facebook, has been able to gain back since this article was published, and how that relates to our conversation in class about whether Facebook will ever go away.

The article mentions stories on Snapchat as something temporary that her students found more interesting than permanent public Facebook statuses, for example. Instagram released their own version stories in August 2016 (four months after this article was published). Now, Instagram stories are used more than two times as much as Snapchat stories. (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/28/instagram-stories-daily-active-users-double-snapchats.html)

The end of the "So long social media" article says that the powerful Facebook advertising algorithm and the revenue it generates may be in trouble, but with the renewed popularity of Instagram, it seems like Facebook as an umbrella company is stronger than ever. This makes me really wonder if Facebook will ever go away or if it will continue to purchase other social networks, like it purchased Instagram, to make itself stronger. Is that powerful expansion of the company good or bad for the online communities that form on its platforms?

Casey.ha (talk) 21:35, 1 October 2018 (UTC)


(QIC#3)The first reading from the “Building Successful Online Communities” mentioned the different commitments in online media. Kraut mainly discussed about two types, which are normative commitment and the normative commitment. The normative commitment tends do be an obligation of loyalty to the online community or we could say normative commitment helps us to share the norm and solve our uncertainty. The needs-based commitment is more likely to be the benefits that people who experienced from the community.

The second reading, “So long social media: the kids are opting out of the online public square” by Felicity Duncan talks about why teenagers decrease the using of Facebook and twitter. It is mainly because teenagers likely to follow their friends or brands they loved, they began to reduce the time of sharing their photo or private thing on public. The reason is students are afraid that those social media account will affect their future career or judgements from the society. I deeply agree with the points from this reading, I have the same feeling with it. After the Instagram born, I stopped to using Facebook because it has a plenty of advertisement on it, also parents or relative likely to use it, so they can stalk my photos or any information I posted on Facebook and start to judge me. For the Instagram, I feel more comfortable to use because I only follow the people I liked, and my account could be fully private. On the other hand, me and my friends are using WeChat to chat with each others because it is more private. –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 03:35, 2 October 2018 (UTC)


2. Kraut’s chapter on encouraging commitment in online communities ended in an explanation of what is normative and needs-based commitment. Normative commitment explains that people feel obligation to community, and that is why they feel indebted to them. This is enacted in 3 ways. The first is through their own normative commitment. People with a pre-existing commitment to the cause makes it easier to transition into commitment for the community. Next is basing it off of other’s normative commitment. According to Design Claim 28, “Testimonials about people’s normative commitment to the community increases others’ normative commitment” (Kraut 102), so seeing these excerpts online will help to stir up a desire for commitment in others. The last example is based in reciprocity. This one is related more to an altruistic desire, to “repay” one back so you are not “indebted” to them, or to “pay it forward” to another person. Needs-based commitment is one’s attachment to online community that depends on the net benefits that people experience from the community. Design Claim 32 states “Providing participants with experiences that meet their motivations for participating increases their need-based commitment to the community”.

The second reading accounts for social media’s decline amongst teens to them transitioning to more narrowcast tools like Snapchat and Messenger. Duncan notes that she has seen a decline in teens using Facebook for communicative purposes and posting their own statuses, but she notices that they are still using it for information and to see what others are posting. This reminds me of the research project I did for Communication Research Studies on news from Facebook in regards to online and offline influence. We focused on college students, so a little older than teenaged, but we found that people tended to use Facebook more for receiving world and local news compared to posting photos and sharing statuses. We also looked at how much people self-determined that their attitudes and beliefs were shaped by the information they received, and it was found to be most determinant based on friends and family over world views. Moreno.ci (talk) 16:45, 2 October 2018 (UTC) Moreno.ci


Oct 05 Fri - Ethics (interlude)[edit]

7. The first reading was about the ethical practices of a class that does research on online communities. In the piece, the professor outlines steps she has taken in order to ensure that the students’ project meet ethical standards. This includes things like consulting the IRB, getting consent, avoiding direct quotes, and disguising identities. The professor also gives some examples of when students have encountered problems with the project and emphasizes that in addition to protecting research subjects, students should also be protected from the members of the community they study.

The next reading as about a controversy that arose when Facebook conducted an experiment to measure changes in user’s emotions without their consent or knowledge. This created a lot of negative press and a complaint to the FTC even led to an investigation. In response to the controversy at Facebook, OKCupid founder, Paul Rudd wrote a piece that argues that if you use internet platforms you are being experimented on all of the time. He goes on to give three examples of when OKCupid has ran experiments on the site with its users.

Something that I found interesting about the controversy surrounding the Facebook incident is that one of the main arguments that it was unethical was because Facebook did not state in their Data Use Policy that data would be used for research. I personally have never read Facebook’s Data Use Policy and I imagine most people do no to this. In most cases, even if this had been written into the policy the majority of people would not have known about it anyway. Since I do not take the time to read the long policies on social media, I just assume that when I join these sites I am giving up all rights to the information I post there. I wonder if there are better ways to tell users how their information will be used, that will actually be seen by the majority of users? Dipilato.k (talk) 11:24, 4 October 2018 (UTC)


Oct 09 Tue - Regulation and pro-social norms[edit]


8. The first reading was a chapter from Kraut and Resnick about norms in online communities and how platforms can encourage users to follow these norms. In online communities, if members have a general consensus of normative behaviors it will be easier to achieve the mission of the group. The authors give many suggestions to increase adherence to norms. Some that I found notable include: having moderators who consistently apply the same criteria, using activity quotas or temporary bans, and displaying examples of appropriate behavior. The goal of these tools is to prevent inappropriate behavior from distracting from legitimate contributions to the group.

The second reading was an article that analyzed norms within the Wikipedia community and characterize them based on Gibb’s article “Defensive Communication.” One example of this is norms characterized by the idea of spontaneity vs. strategy. As Gibb explains, strategic communication can make others feel defensive because they suspect there are hidden motives and this does not occur with more spontaneous communication. Wikipedia is vulnerable to strategic thinking, but norms like “Be bold” and “Ignore all rules” enhance spontaneity. Since Wikipedia has so many norms, it can be seen as a new type of large online community.

Finally, we looked at the subreddit, r/ChangeMyView, which has a lot of norms that are explicitly outlined and enforced by moderators. For example, original posters must reply to comments on their post within three hours or the post will be removed, which encourages conversation. Norms seem particularly important in the subreddit since it involves so many opinions and could quickly devolve into arguments.

These readings reminded me of when my roommate repeatedly violated the norms of Reddit in order to promote an app during a marketing internship. She violated many subreddits’ norms by posting content that was seen as promotional. As a result, moderators would often remove content and send her a message explaining why this had happened. Eventually, she was banned from posting for several days and finally her account was permanently disabled. Each time she makes a new account, she is banned faster than before which suggests that Reddit has algorithms in place to detect when people make new accounts after being banned. This is an interesting example of what can happen when someone repeatedly violates the norms of the community. Dipilato.k (talk) 13:16, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: Kayla, your example of your roommate with the marketing internship is so interesting. Was that something she was instructed to do at the internship or was she promoting the app on her own? It would be really something if the internship was telling interns to create and re-create banned accounts. Casey.ha (talk) 16:19, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
@Dipilato.k: yes, let's discuss in class! -Reagle (talk) 16:49, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

(Casey QIC #5) Chapter 4 of the Kraut and Resnick textbook explores the regulation of behavior in online communities. Design claims 1-20 offer methods of discouraging bad behavior while encouraging good behavior. Some of the design claims I found really interesting were #2 (redirecting inappropriate posts to other places causes less resistance) and #20 (point-of-action reminders are helpful to reduce the number of violations of community norms).

The second reading, "Be Nice," analyzed norms within the Wikipedia community. The norms are characterized as supportive using the article "Defensive Communication" by Jack Gibb. Gibb uses the idea of spontaneity versus strategy to describe different norms. Strategic norms can make people feel defensive and bridled by the rules. Norms based in spontaneity like Wikipedia's taglines "Be bold" and "Ignore all rules" encourage spontaneity and balance out the strategic norms that are more prescriptive and instructional. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Casey.ha (talkcontribs) 16:33, 9 October 2018 (UTC)


Oct 12 Fri - Norm compliance and breaching[edit]

9. The first reading was a chapter from Kraut and Resnick on enhancing compliance to norms in online communities. The authors identify four factors that increase compliance which are commitment to community, legitimacy of norms, ability to save face, and expectations for rewards for compliance or sanctions for noncompliance. The chapter also spends time describing how to implement sanctions that will be the most useful in deterring negative behavior, for example, sanctions should incorporate community cohesion, graduated sanctions, explicit rules, identifiable perpetrators and formal sanctioning rules.

The second reading provided an overview of social breaching experiments which are experiments that seek to examine people’s reactions to violations of commonly accepted social rules or norms. These experiments are typically associated with ethnomethodology and involve “the conscious exhibition of "unexpected" behavior/violation of social norms, an observation of the types of social reactions such behavioral violations engender, and an analysis of the social structure that makes these social reactions possible.”

The third reading is a work by Harold Garfinkel, an established researcher in this field. He used social breaching experiments to suggest that people use "background expectancies" to interpret and decide how to behave in social situations. However, we are unable to describe what these are. To help make background expectancies more visible, he makes his subjects “strangers to the life as usual character of everyday scenes." An example of this is saying "hello" at the end of a conversation and noting how people respond.

In the chapter on Kraut and Resnick, they discuss the fact that Twitter verifies the identities of well-known users and gives them a badge on their profile to confirm they are who they say they are. This practice can discourage potential harm from community members. In the past, there has been controversy surrounding this policy because Twitter has removed the verified status of users who post racist and hateful things. Opponents of this argue that just because someone is posting inflammatory statements, it does not mean it is not who they say they are. However, in this case Twitter is using the verified identity as a form of sanction because they know that being a verified user is something that elevates that user’s status and that removing it diminishes this status. An example is when Twitter removed the verified status of Jason Kessler, who helped to organize the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Here is an article with more information about this example: http://fortune.com/2017/11/15/twitter-verification-racist-hateful/ . Dipilato.k (talk) 23:20, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

(QIC#4)The first reading, Kraut and Resnick claim four factors about increasing compliance, which are commitment to community, legitimacy of norm, ability to save face and expectations for rewards and the second reading “Breaching experiment” gives an explanation of what it is and how beaching experiment examine people’s reactions. This experiments always connect with the violation of social norm. The reason why we test it because people always unaware what they are doing. Human beings are governed and controlled by internal built up principals or instinct, which influence the human. The human behavior control, expression, conduct, interpretation by self or others makes up the human moral order. In a wider perspective, they can be recognized as ethnomethodology.

The third reading "Studies in ethnomethodology” noted that “socially standardized and standardizing, “seen but unnoticed,” expected, background expectancies as a scheme of interpretation (Garfinkel 1967 p.36).” It means that people use “background expectancies” to decide their behavior but we are unable to explain it. The author gives an enormous number of “background expectancies” examples, by understanding of this reading, we can see that people using the “background expectancies” in everyday life, but we never notice that. For example, when my friend text me she want me to eat dinner with her and I just reply “time”. Even I only said one words, but my friend could easily know what I am talking about. –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 16:20, 12 October 2018 (UTC)


Oct 16 Tue - Community and collaboration[edit]

10. The first reading was a chapter about the collaborative culture, “a set of assumptions, values, meanings, and actions pertaining to working together within a community,” on Wikipedia. Wikis present a new way to collaborate online that is incremental, synchronous, and cumulative, however, this alone does not explain the collaborative culture on Wikipedia. In addition, two guidelines, neutral point of view and assume good faith have contributed to Wikipedia’s success. Neutral point of view involves presenting all sides of an argument in a way that is as unbiased as possible. Assuming good faith means assuming the best in people, even when they have done something that upsets you. To do this, users can focus on patience, civility, and humor.

The second reading was a study done by researchers where they measured the impacts of feedback on the task-specific and overall motivation of newcomers to Wikipedia. The four types of feedback they tested were positive, negative, directive, and social. After commenting on over 600 newcomer articles, they concluded that negative and directive feedback increased motivation to edit the specific article the comment was on while it did not impact overall motivation. On the other hand, positive and social feedback on newcomer articles increased overall motivation to contribute. Finally, feedback did not effect established users motivation to contribute.

Something that was mentioned briefly in the first article, that I found really interesting, was the difference between collaboration, cooperation, and coordination. The reading noted that these are three distinct concepts, but focused on collaboration specifically. I realized I did not know what the difference was so I did some research to find out:

  • Cooperation: when participants have their own goals and agree not to interfere with each other. Communication usually occurs when individual goals overlap or when there is a potential for conflict.
  • Coordination: when participants are led by a coordinator to achieve a common goal. This focuses on efficiency and is roles based.
  • Collaboration: focuses on shared creation and users share commitment to a high-level goal. Users bring their own experiences, ideas, and skills to help achieve this goal.

Based on these definitions, it is clear that Wikipedia revolves most heavily around collaboration and users work toward the goal of creating a quality, free, and accessible Encyclopedia.

Source: https://convergencelabs.com/blog/2018/01/the-four-cs-communication-coordination-cooperation-and-collaboration/ Dipilato.k (talk) 21:58, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: nice find. And you might remember Himmelman from our CDA class. -Reagle (talk) 17:06, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
goal interaction c.* eg
networking connection passing . business cards
coordinate mutual (self- interested) benefit share info & modify actions .. traffic light
cooperate common purpose & share resources hunting
collaborate common purpose & enhancing others & sharing risks & rewards …. WP


(QIC#5)The reading “good faith collaboration” explain the cultural and cooperation. Joseph Reagle (2010) stated, “collaborative culture refers to a set of assumptions, values, meanings, and actions pertaining to working together within a community.” On the other hand, the author also illustrates two ways of making the Wikipedia success, which is assumed good faith and the neutral point.

The second reading "Effects of Peer Feedback on Contribution: A Field Experiment in Wikipedia" researches on the importance of feedback by peers on member contribution in online communities. The article clearly defines the research problem. The online communities typically have members who bring their contributions and then the editors respond to their work. The responses have impacts on the members interaction with the online community. The editors have challenges in increasing members’ contributions. There are several online communities like Flickr, Follr, Digg, and Yelp which could benefit from the article. The online communities have forums where people with common interest interact. The article clearly describes the independent variables which include the feedback types such as directive, social, negative, and positive feedback. Wikipedia is a perfect example of an online community where members get to contribute by wiring articles. The research used the online community to test the variables and the impacts on members’ contribution.

Additionally, the article is useful in the sense that it provides more insight into the underlying mechanisms associated with peer feedback as well as the guidance on designing an effective peer feedback system ( Zhu et al.,2013). Other research shows that peer feedback is the prediction of the quality of member contributions. Feedback impacts the contribution on two aspects as the article articulates. It either increases or decreases contribution and motivation. Participants in the research involved authors who recently created articles in the online forums. The research results indicated that directive messages have no effects on general motivation while the negative and positive feedbacks had impacts on member contributions. The social and positive feedback mechanisms increased newcomers’ work motivation. The finding could also be associated with real-life conversations. For instance, social feedback is warm, and people generally tend to appreciate the warm feedback with positive feelings.–Hsienhsienlee (talk) 00:24, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

@Hsienhsienlee: good close readings. I'm not sure what you mean by "prediction" in your last paragraph though. -Reagle (talk) 17:06, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

(Casey QIC #6)

The first reading, Chapter 3 of Professor Reagle's book Good_Faith_Collaboration, explores the collaborative culture of Wikipedia. In the reading, collaborative culture is defined as "a set of assumptions, values, meanings, and actions pertaining to working together within a community." On Wikipedia, two of the most important values, though there are many, are a neutral point of view and an assumption of good faith. These norms help Wikipedia be a site of successful collaboration where users work toward the common goal of the online encyclopedia.

The second reading "Effects of Peer Feedback on Contribution" described an experiment done by researchers on Wikipedia measuring the effects of different types of feedback. The researchers provided randomly assigned feedback that belonged to one of four categories: positive, negative, directive, and social. The researchers found that negative and directive feedback encouraged contribution by new users on the specific task at hand, but it did not encourage overall contribution. Positive and social feedback, however, did encourage overall contribution. Notably, the researchers also found that feedback did not impact the contributions of experienced editors.

Something I thought was very interesting from this set of readings was the "Assumption of assumption of good faith" as well as the related concept of "WikiLove." The assumption of assumption of good faith is based in the idea that by invoking AGF, one user is assuming an assumption of bad faith by the other. More simply put than the assumption of AGF, WikiLove is the general spirit of collegiality that Wikipedians strive for. Interested by the idea of WikiLove, I looked on the term's Wikipedia article and was surprised to see templates and userboxes for Wikipedia users who are "strictly against" WikiLove messages from templates. When I clicked on the image for the anti-WikiLove userbox I was very surprised to see the file names as "say_no_to_WikiRape". While there is no Wikipedia entry for "WikiRape" there was an Urban Dictionary entry that described it as when "someone creates or alters a Wikipedia page in order to abuse another." That certainly doesn't sound like WikiLove! Are Wikipedians who identify as anti-WikiLove generally just against canned complimentary messages, or is there a history of WikiLove being abused to harass? This was sort of a rabbit-hole I went down but I am very interested in the background of WikiLove and whatever those users mean by "WikiRape." Casey.ha (talk) 00:47, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

@Casey.ha: a fascinating rabbit hole, which we'll all jump down on Nov 13. 😄 If you want to go even deeper, check out this discussion. -Reagle (talk) 17:06, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

(( Ciana QIC #3)) TheGood_Faith_Collaboration reading first discusses collaborative culture, which is a set off assumptions, values, meanings, and actions relating to working together within a community (Reagle, 2010, paragraph 8). In order for collaboration to occur, sometimes it is necessary for debates to happen. If done civilly, there is usually nothing wrong with this discourse. Differentiating opinions can bring inventive and unthought of ideas to the table, and partially contributes to the successfulness of Wikipedia. Writing for the enemy is also how Wikipedia is able to stay successful and easier maintain a neutral POV (paragraph 51). This can relate to assume good faith by realizing that explanations and definitions on Wikipedia may differ from user to user depending on their own experiences, but they should all be written with the intent of neutrality, and assumed to be so when being read. The second reading on the effects of peer feedback on contribution. Even a welcoming message upon signing up was shown to increase retention of new members (Zhu et. al, 2013). This is exactly what Wikipedia did when our class signed up when we were welcomed by a person who helps with student-created articles. Some of us were also invited to a community within Wikipedia, the Teahouse. The four types of peer feedback (positive, negative, directive, social) also affect community members frequency and likelihood to contribute new content. Positive and social feedback was shown to motivate towards online contribution. Also, when members with heavy influence, such as a Wikipedia administrator, contribute their feedback to a post, it tends to hold more weight. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Moreno.ci (talkcontribs) 17:28, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

Moreno.ci (talk)


Oct 19 Fri - Reddit's challenges[edit]

11. The first reading discussed a temporary project launched by Reddit called Place where users could edit a blank canvas one pixel at a time, the catch is that they had to wait several minutes between edits. This led to interesting collaboration between “creators”, moderation by users who became known as “the protectors” and threats from trolls who came to the site from 4chan. In the end, a lot of really cool art was created through collaboration.

The second reading was about Reddiquette, the “informal expression of values of many Redditors.” This page featured a long list of dos and don'ts for contributors to the site. Some of these include, remember the human, moderate based on quality, don’t be rude, and innocent until proven guilty, which is similar to Wikipedia’s “assume good faith” guideline.

The final two readings outlined what can go wrong on Wikipedia, a site that has positioned itself as a place for discourse and free speech. One included a list of controversial Reddit communities such as r/jailbait, r/creepshot, r/pizzagate, and r/incels. The other article gave insight into how Reddit handles moderation, especially in today’s difficult political climate. For example, r/the_donald has risen to become a very popular and active subreddit with considerable power. The article also discussed the implementation of Reddit’s strengthened policy against violence which was implemented last October.

Something that I found particularly interesting was that at the end of Reddit’s Place experiment, the final artwork did not contain any hate or racist symbols. On a platform with no formal moderation and a large, anonymous user base, this seems almost impossible to achieve based on what we have learned about enforcing norms so far. Were redditors just very good about carrying reddiquette over to this temporary platform? Or perhaps, since the project was only online for three days the user base remained small enough to avoid this type of behavior on a large scale? Do other people have ideas about why this might have happened? Dipilato.k (talk) 16:57, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: I also thought it was really cool that the artwork created from Place wasn't vandalized with hateful symbols in its final form. I think the "protectors" did a pretty good job at self-moderating in the end, after all the chaos that played out on the canvas.
In the first sentence of your third paragraph, I think you might have Wikipedia where you mean to say Reddit, just FYI :-) Casey.ha

(Casey QIC #7)

The first reading describes the social art experiment Place that Reddit created and ran on April 1, 2017. Place allowed users to edit a shared canvas pixel by pixel. Users were limited to editing just one pixel per five minutes, which created for a lot of fascinating collaboration. Groups cliqued off and created group identities, like the leftist-identified Red Corner and the Black Void. The final canvas is a visual manifestation of collaborative, discoursive internet culture.

The second reading is a long list of 'do's and 'don't's on Reddit referred to as Reddiquette. I really like the way the rules are presented on this page. I think starting off with the 'Dos' is a good way to foster commitment to the community norms by presenting directives for newcomers. I also like the list is written in a conversational tone, and that all the rules have a brief explainer or example.

The third reading is an article from the New Yorker about "the struggle to detoxify the internet," focusing in particular on Reddit. Reddit has been home to many controversial subreddits -- listed in a Wikipedia article for the fourth reading. Reddit has responded to criticism of toxic discourse on its platform by recently implementing a much stronger policy against violent posts and a crackdown on subreddits that were consistently harmful.

On the Reddiquette page, something that stood out to me was the simple rule: "Vote." Reddit is one of few social networks or online communities that I'm aware of that uses up- and down-voting instead of only allowing likes or favorites. I think that having the ability to downvote makes for a better content rating system than most. I don't often use Reddit but when I do I always vote on comments that stand out to me.

Reddit is an extremely interesting website and I am looking forward to discussing it in class! For discussion tomorrow I looked at r/UrbanHell for a weird subreddit and r/TuckedInKitties for an uplifting subreddit. I found both by pressing the Random subreddit button until I found ones that I thought were interesting. r/UrbanHell is a photo forum for ugly and dystopian urban architecture. The conversation on posts in r/UrbanHell seemed to have a wide range of folks who had different reasons for looking at the photos. r/TuckedInKitties is a delightful and very active forum to post pictures of cats tucked under bedcovers :-).

I also stumbled across r/MensLib by using the Random button and was heartened to be presented with a pro-feminist, uplifting space for men to discuss issues of masculinity, in stark contrast to the men's rights movement on Reddit that we read about.

Casey.ha (talk) 01:11, 19 October 2018 (UTC)


Moreno QIC #13

Reddit is full of disordered good and evil, with not much regulation behind what gets posted either in the form of pictures or comments. In the article “When Pixels Collide” Redditors play around on a blank canvas without any rules or regulations set forth. This community thrived by the participation of Creators, Protectors, and Destroyers. The article notes that “too much creativity lead to chaos” and that constraint is necessary. One way in which this could be done is to have a screening process for commenting or a photo before it gets posted. The downside to this is having to employ a lot of people or to develop a system for round the clock monitoring. And with sites such as Reddit and Facebook, people can experience trauma from being subjected to the worst of what the world has to offer.

Since monitoring is so difficult, who can be the Protectors? In the case of the blank canvas Place, it sometimes might come from the community itself. At the start, and again towards the end, people decided to fill in their color or artwork around nearby artwork and not over it. I would also say using someone’s artwork to springboard into another similar idea can also be a way of preserving or moderating the art. This is sort of what happened with Redditors attempting to overtake the Void together by creating an American flag. In Marantz’s piece, the beginning stages of Reddit is described as “anarchic”, connoting a place of disorder. This is what Place has proven to be, and what Reddit ultimately is. So would moderating the site away from this strip away from what the creators intended?Moreno.ci (talk) 20:49, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

Oct 23 Tue - Moderation[edit]

12. This reading was about moderation in online communities, which this author defines as the governance mechanisms that structure participation in a community to facilitate participation and prevent abuse. The goals of moderation are to allow the community to be as productive and open as possible while keeping costs low, however this is more difficult than it may sound because online communities create commons problems. The four primary types of moderation are exclusion, pricing, motivation and norm setting. Going along with this, moderation can be manual or automatic, transparent or opaque, centralized or decentralized and ex ante or ex post. In addition, the best methods of moderation depend on characteristics of the community including, capacity, size, ownership concentration, and identity. The article used case studies of Wikipedia, the LA Times Wikitorial, Metafilter, and Reddit in order to illustrate how different types of moderation can be successful, or not, in practice.

I found the contrast between Wikipedia and the LA Times Wikitorial to be really insightful. It shows that on the surface, it can be easy to assume that Wikipedia works as a result of the positive intentions of its contributors, and while their commitment to a common goal is important, the careful moderation of the site is extremely important to its success. I was also surprised to learn that even though it allows anonymous editing, Wikipedia will block editing from certain IP addresses to moderate harmful users who have not even created an account. This seems like a smart solution to maintain openness while preventing spam or trolling. The editors at the LA Times should have realized that a wiki with no moderation would quickly devolve, especially when discussing such a polarizing topic. I completed my last co-op at the Boston Globe and spent a lot of time looking at the comments on different articles and it is easy to see that people can become abusive when discussing the news. I wonder if the LA Times made this mistake because this project happened several years ago before online contribution was as prevalent because I do not think the same mistake would be made today. Dipilato.k (talk) 20:09, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Dipilato.k, agreed! -Reagle (talk) 16:57, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

---

(Casey QIC #8) "The Virtues of Moderation" is an article from the Yale Journal of Law & Technology that goes into great detail to provide "a guided tour of moderation for legal scholars." (Grimmellmann 45) The article contrasts a "wikitorial" editorial page on the Los Angeles Times website to the successful website it was modeled after, Wikipedia. While the LA Times wikitorial almost instantly devolved into grotesque vandalism, Wikipedia has been allowed the public to edit successfully for almost 20 years. The difference between the two cases is one of moderation: Wikipedia is carefully and successfully moderated while the wikitorial had no moderation at all. The article also considers moderation on Reddit and MetaFilter.

Grimmelman outlines in the article four primary techniques for moderation: exclusion, pricing, organization, and norm-setting. Exclusion considers not only the exclusion of bad actors but also whether or not the community is by definition open to all or restricted to select members. Pricing access to a community is effective in weeding out trolls and gaining members who are materially committed but it can also exclude contributions from people who are not willing to pay. Organization "shapes the flow of content from authors to readers" (58) and includes different basic techniques of deletion, editing, annotation, synthesis, filtering, and formatting. Norm-setting is the "biggest challenge and most important mission" of moderation. Setting good productive norms fosters self-moderation in users who want to abide by community norms and contribute within their guidelines. Within the four primary techniques, moderation may be done manually or automatically, transparently or secretly, may be centralized or decentralized, and ex-ante or ex-post. The best methods of moderation depend on the community at hand, and its community characteristics, most important being: infrastructure, size, ownership, and identity.

This article uses Wikipedia as an example of a site that is remarkably well-moderated. Doing this reading while my draft article is pending gave me an appreciation for the slow process of an article being approved. Casey.ha (talk) 19:59, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

---

(Moreno QIC #4) Moderation of an enormous community can seem like a daunting task to undertake. Mods are the final line of defense in ensuring media which is deemed inappropriate by the host site does not reach the masses of those who subscribe to and are a part of a given online community. They are often harassed by members of said community for doing their job to uphold the rules, and underpaid for their services given the trauma some have reported experiencing: an independent contractor who was only employed with Facebook for nine months had reported that she was experiencing PTSD due to the violent issues she was witness to (Motherboard). Grimmelmann’s The Virtues of Moderation believes that moderators’ enormous task must be looked at theoretically as well as practically. Sure, moderators are crucial to helping the site work so its online community can continue to post, interact, and hopefully cooperate freely. But how can this translate to real-world community-building and protection?

There are plenty of ways to uphold or increase moderation in online communities. One example the text gives is YouTube’s chiding of “NO SPOILERS” on videos, which is a way that community members encourage moderation of other users on an equal level. Of the four given types of moderation (exclusion, pricing, motivation, and norm setting), I would say this one most closely adheres to norm setting because other community members are trying to set a precedent for others to follow when it comes to videos which contain spoilers.

The four overarching goals of moderation are to ensure a productive community, increase openness, and be low-cost. This can be difficult to promote in an online community, but the article has shown that Wikipedia does this effectively. [1]) Moreno.ci (talk) 9:31, 23 October 2018 (UTC)



(QIC#6) The article "The virtues of moderation" by James Grimmelmann (2015) is a very informative and insightful piece because it offers tangible information on how the power of moderation can help to minimize abuse of online communities. Grimmelmann cited an example of "wikitorial" that were abused by users to depict how moderators can play a positive role in preventing the sharing of obscene content that might erode societal norms and values. Even though people may find the article so exaggerated, the author has relied on a well-researched point of view that validates the argument presented in the article.

Grimmelmann begins building credibility with personal facts and credibility by highlighting the repercussions of allowing free internet use. Using four different case studies of moderation in action, Grimmelmann has portrayed the need to regulate online communities. For example, when Grimmelmann (2015) asserts that "overuse causes cacophony, which makes it harder for participants to find what they want," (p. 53) it offers factual evidence that lack of moderation of the online participation may pose serious harm to legit users. Grimmelmann cited that abuse and manipulation of the online communication distort the intended message delivered on the internet.

Grimmelmann uses many strong facts and double entendres that strengthen his credibility and appeal to pathos, logos, and ethos. Grimmelmann uses reliable sources to provide a tangible taxonomy of moderation and various moderation techniques that can be leverage on daily basis. He has managed to shade light on the need to regulate internet use in order to prevent possible abuse by errand individuals. –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 15:45, 23 October 2018 (UTC)


Oct 26 Fri - Governance and banning[edit]

13. The first reading outlines the challenges of consensus based decision making on Wikipedia using the example of conflict that arose over the disambiguation of article titles. Consensus is general agreement without active opposition to the proposed course of action. There are many factors that make consensus difficult including who facilitates the conversation, how long the consensus is assumed to last, the size of the group, the openness of the group, and how polling is utilized. While there are considerable challenges to consensus based decision making, the assumption of good faith and preference for egalitarianism makes this an effective way to make decisions on Wikipedia.

The second reading discusses how Riot Games is attempting to limit abusive, sexist, racist, homophobic interactions in the game League of Legends. The abusive language used on the site creates a barrier for new players so it was in the company’s economic interest to correct the problem, they also release a lot of their data and findings about abuse which is unique. The company uses priming to present messages to users about behavior and also uses algorithms that flag bad behavior and were able to successfully curb abuse. In addition, the publicly available data led other external researchers that aim to solve the problem of video game harassment.

The last reading was a Wikipedia article about the site’s banning policy which explains that people can be banned from the site, a page, or a topic for inappropriate behavior. Bans can vary in length and can be initiated by the arbitration committee, administrators, or community consensus. Users who are banned also have the opportunity to appeal.

The reading on consensus reminded me of my experience in a class titled "Strategic Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management" that I took last year. The class awards $10,000 of real grant money to a Boston nonprofit organization. In order to decide which issue we would try to impact with the contribution, the professor used consensus based decision making. In many ways this was helpful because the discussion brought up many issues and complexities that would not have emerged had we simply taken a vote. However, after four long class periods of discussion, there was still dissent within the class. At that point, we had to choose the most favorable option in order to stay on track with the course schedule. In addition to the lack of a clear final decision, the class also illustrated that when trying to reach consensus there are people who may have an opinion, but do not feel confident enough to speak up meaning their voice will not be heard allowing more outspoken group members to control the conversation. This was an interesting real life example that demonstrates the difficulty of using consensus based decision making. Dipilato.k (talk) 00:16, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

@Dipilato.k: That class sounds really interesting! Was it sponsored by a specific program? (And congrats on your 13th QIC!) Casey.ha (talk) 02:01, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
@Casey.ha: It is a human services class that is offered in partnership with Northeastern Students4Giving, a really cool philanthropic organization on campus. Also, thank you! Dipilato.k (talk) 12:56, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

(Casey QIC #9) Chapter 5 of Good Faith Collaboration covers the issue of consensus-based decision making on Wikipedia. The reading uses the example of "collisions" of article titles that were all being categorized or specified in different ways. Wikipedia uses 'disambiguation' links to direct shared names and titles to their different specific pages but a consensus for how to handle those pages and disambiguations needed to be reached as the encyclopedia grew larger. Consensus, defined as a complete or general agreement that isn't being actively opposed. It is often very difficult to come to a consensus in any large group. Factors in reaching consensus include "the character of the group, the constraints of time, the role of the facilitator, and group dynamics." The Wikipedia community seems to be better than most at dealing with disagreement and reaching consensus to achieve a product of work that is high quality.

The second reading, "Can a video game company tame toxic behaviour?", is an article about the company behind the popular video game League of Legends. Riot Games realized that the abusive atmosphere the game had developed was affecting the company's bottom line so they conducted research to attempt to improve the game's community. The company made much of their data public which has been very useful for researchers studying video games and online abuse and their impacts on society. Although the company was able to moderately reduce abuse in the game with the use of algorithms and priming 'tips', the author of this article still encountered homophobic a slur the first time he logged into the game, so it is certainly not gone completely.

The final reading is Wikipedia's policy on banning users. I was interested to see that there are many different types of bans and blocks. In addition to certain high-level editors, banning can be achieved by a consensus on the matter.

Something I thought to be really interesting from this set of readings was the use of tips in the League of Legends research. There were 216 different permutations of tips all tested against a control group with no tips. As the article says, research with that many different variables is impossible in a regular lab setting but easily achievable in a game like LoL with millions of users. That is a remarkably large group of users to have receive so many different messages to measure their success. Because LoL and most video game communities are predominantly male, I wonder what a more generalizable study of results could look like in a community that is more gender-distributed, like if perhaps Twitter did a similar tip experiment to measure and test abuse on that platform. Casey.ha (talk) 02:46, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

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(Moreno QIC #5) "The Challenges of Consensus" article is about how to reach a common agreement for issues in a large scale community like Wikipedia, such as how to name articles which conflict with other topics. Disambiguation links is a way in which Wikipedians have found a solution to this issue. Reaching a consensus does not require 100% agreement, but rather a mutual understanding to be inclusive, participatory, cooperative, egalitarian, and solution-oriented. Reading about consensus made me think of communication negotiation styles. Ideally, the Arbitration Committee’s governance would ensure that things reach a win-win outcome, where there might not be unanimous agreeance, but the majority is satisfied with the decision. The W3C required Chairs so members could consider “all legitimate views and objections”. However, this became harder to maintain over time, especially with one person (Tim Berners-Lee) at the helm. Polling, voting, and facilitation are ways in which Quakers and Wikipedians can help to ensure consensus.

Wikipedia’s banning policy goes into the reasons why bans can occur, and differentiates between them. Topic bans forbid users from making edits when their occur when users are being disruptive, and interaction bans are implemented to halt conflict between individuals. The decision to ban a user is placed in the authority of Wikipedian’s consensus, the Arbitration Committee’s, the Wikimedia Foundation, or “Jimbo Wales” himself. As for sanctions; under Wikipedia:General sanctions, they differentiate between general sanctions and personal sanctions, the latter of which refers to editing restrictions only. The types of general sanctions Wikipedia bestows include discretionary, reverting restrictions, and probation.These can be implemented by administrators or the Wikipedian community themselves. Moreno.ci (talk) 15:54, 26 October 2018 (UTC)


(QIC#7)According to “Wikipedia: Banning policy article” ban is officially perceived to be the prohibition of editing some or all pages especially on the Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia (2014), there are numerous types of ban depending on their implications inclusive; page ban, interaction ban, topic ban an article ban. The article has it ban socially implied decision regarding editing while blocking in the technical enforcement of the ban. In the article, ideas have been expressed under the respective subheading with average language which is deemed conversant with almost all users. Therefore, the respective audience can easily grip the information contained as one can easily skim through the article and retrieve information of interest.

Brendan in his article argues that gaming came along with toxic behavior. The toxic behavior is attributed to antisocial behavior and increased addiction to gaming as the game developers advance their technologies to meet users expectation. However, the gaming companies are deemed to be engaging in intensive research to build tame the toxic behavior to comes along with gaming. Also, Joseph (2010) claimed that the group decision making came along with some problems. According to the article, consensus faces the following set of challenges inclusive; difficulty in selecting facilitator, the problem of precedence and timing, as well as issues that come along with voting.

On the other hand, I am also the player of LOL, and in my personal opinion, I feel that this game actually tame the toxic behavior in-game community. The LOL has to play by a team, and each other have to be cooperation. But it also affects the bullying discriminate in this community. –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 16:04, 26 October 2018 (UTC)


Oct 30 Tue - Newcomer gateways[edit]

(Casey QIC #10) Chapter 5 of the Kraut and Resnick textbook is on the subject of newcomers in online communities. The authors identify five basic problems for dealing with newcomers: recruitment, selection, retention, socialization, and protection. The reading assigned for class deals only with the first two issues, recruitment and selection. The issue of recruitment is an obvious one: for an online community to stay active and grow, new members need to be recruited to join the community. They can be recruited through recruiting materials and advertising or through interpersonal word of mouth methods. Selection is the issue of choosing members to join the community that will be productive and abide by the community rules. Selection of newcomers can involve screening, self-selection, and entry barriers like getting referrals, completing a task before joining, or employing a waiting period. Selection is very important for weeding out trolls and keeping the community healthy.

The Wikipedia article describes the seven ages of Wikipedians, a method for classifying Wikipedia members by how long they've been in the community. The first newcomers are called wiki-Infants, then wiki-Children, and up onward to wiki-Seniors and wiki-Death, when members leave the site. This is a novel way to describe user status.

Debian is an open-source operating system. The first reading from Debian is the "Newcomers Corner." In the Debian community, there are developers and non-developers who have different abilities in the community. The second Debian reading details the community's Policies and Philosophies for joining and admitting new members.

In the first reading from Debian, I thought the account manager role was very interesting. The process for joining the Debian community as a developer seems complicated, but clearly it is very well-screened and new recruits do a lot to join. I'm sure this fosters a strong sense of commitment to the community. It seems like the community has strong identity-based and needs-based commitment. Casey.ha (talk) 15:33, 29 October 2018 (UTC)


(QIC#8) Having newcomer to a community is a good thing because most of them may come up with their own unique ideas that may be adopted by the community. Wikipedians is a good example of how newcomers are useful to a community. They may engage in extensive editing of articles and also initiate discussions with other members.

Joining the Debian community has a disadvantage that you need to have a track record of previous contributions for you to join. Additionally, there is a thorough and strict registration process. The newcomers become active members of the community and they contribute to improving documentation, creating review translations, and maintaining packages. It is a good idea to have new members to this community as they contribute positively to the implementation of the objectives of the community. On the contrary, newcomers may also be problematic to a community. Wikiteens tend to become cynical and some end up rebelling against policies. However, this may be part of the development as they progress and get to learn more about the community they are interacting with.

Successful communities integrate new members into their community through training and fair treatments. New members are taken through the policies and the guidelines that have been set. Moreover, they are also taken through a probation period where the community checks that newcomers are able to sustain their work. Prospective members need to be actively involved with some tasks to ensure they are well equipped with the skills required for integration. Wikipedians are integrated through fair treatment as they mature from one stage to another. They learn from members of the community on what needs to be done and they move from one stage to the next after a productive editing process.–Hsienhsienlee (talk) 15:37, 30 October 2018 (UTC)


Nov 02 Fri - Newcomer initiation[edit]

(QIC#9)People usually face challenges to attain something of value using minimum efforts. Ideally, aspects such as sex and attitudes among people influence the affinity to like and join a group. Experiments carried out by Aronson and Mills (1959) explored the relation from initiation influences that results from the severity of initiation and people’s liking for a group (p. 177). I agree that people undergo initiation severity to become members of a particular group because of individuals think that group membership enhances the sense of belonging hence considered important. Therefore, this paper examines the effects of initiation severity and interests on attitudes in liking for a group.

Generally, initiation is part of human culture that revolves around the world of transition that induces an exaggerated feeling about a particular group. In reference to Festinger theory of cognitive dissonance Aronson and Mills reports the unpleasant requirements to join a specific group that ultimately induces the liking for the group, particularly on the part of the new initiates. Generally, the cognitive dissonance theory holds that people like groups due to the initiation processes they undergo to attain group membership. Therefore, I concede that the initiates with aspirations to join a group in the form of enduring unpleasant experiences acquire motivation that the group needed such trouble before entry and gaining membership of the group.

Membership in a group helps an individual to fulfill individual needs. Thus, an individual with aspirations to join a group needs commitment value to accept norms that govern life within the group. However, barriers within the initiation ritual usually cause initiates to suffer a little before gaining a group membership; hence initiates require motivation and commitment. Remarkably, the starts that violate group’s norm are humiliated and publicly criticized. Ideally, in group playing games, initiates go through the initiation process before gaining group membership, thus increases loyalty for the group. Additionally, initiates intending to join Usenet group usually make subsequent comebacks due to the welcoming and inclusive language, particularly the use of “we” that enhances solidarity.–Hsienhsienlee (talk) 15:48, 2 November 2018 (UTC)


QIC #6 The reading “The Effect of Severity of Initiation of Liking for a Group” details an experiment in which newcomers are required to take an “embarrassment test” before being allowed to join a group. However, they know that they are different from the rest of the group, which did not have to go through the same sort of initiation. They are told this in order to lessen the likelihood of feeling camaraderie with current members. Once initiated, the Ss were not allowed to participate in the discussion. The Severe group in particular experienced a disharmonious feeling with the group, and it was determined that differences in liking the group is a consequence of one’s experience. This proves Aronson and Mills’ hypothesis that people who undergo severe initiation to become members of a group increase their liking for the group. This demonstrates cognitive dissonance as well, since the members rationalized the quality of their boring discussion experience in order to justify the initiation experiment; “the presence of dissonance leads to pressures to reduce it” (Aronson & Mills, pp 180).

This experiment can be connected to Design Claim 17 from Kraut & Resnick, “Entry barriers for newcomers may cause those who join to be more committed to the group and contribute more to it” (pp 206). They write about initiation rituals which cause a user to “suffer a little” prior to joining are more likely to increase their commitment due to cognitive dissonance. However, since leaving an online community causes less of a threat to one’s identity, they are easier to up and leave when cognitive dissonance occurs. For this reason, online communities should not impose such severe initiation rituals very often. - Moreno.ci (talk) 13:06, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Nov 06 Tue - FOMO, growth hacking, and ethics[edit]

Moreno QIC #7 - By now we’ve all been using the internet long enough to tell the difference between a website with a nice interface, and one with an upsetting look. When this upsetting look is intentional, that is known as a dark pattern. Brignull (2013) goes on to discuss how dark patterns violate 3 of Nielsen’s Heuristics in particular; hiding key information by having unclear labels, using words with double meanings to confuse people, and taking advantage of people’s natural ability to make mistakes by having them do things like accidentally completing forms to the website’s benefit, such as giving out personal info. When reading about forced continuity, I realized that I have experienced this form of dark pattern plenty of times when looking for a job, an apartment, even pets online. I can see how forced continuity would work depending on the website the user is on. For example, I would not give in and sign up/pay for a website which would help me look for a job when there are other free options available to me (at least not while I’m in school). However, I do subscribe to the New York Times so I can get past their paywall for reading so many free articles a month.

While reading the “Following the Joneses” (2015), I was reminded of a Comedy Central episode I’ve seen many times. In the episode “Hashtag FOMO” from Broad City, Ilana experiences FOMO when discovering Abbi got her nose pierced on the night that Ilana decided to stay in. Later in the episode, they leave a boring party hosted by Abbi’s boss because they were invited to one with their mutual friends present. Ilana keeps finding something negative about the parties they attend, and wants to keep searching for the “Narnia of Partias” in the Fear of Better Options (FOBO) out there. Just as McGinnis (2004) suggests, Abbi and Ilana precede to alienate their friends through FOBO by up and leaving a party without saying goodbye to their friend Jaime in pursuit of the next best thing. Abbi posts a photo from one of the parties on Instagram and promptly receives a call from her boss, who saw the photo and thought she had left his party due to illness. By using social media he experiences the feeling of being left out, showing him that he’s not as cool (or socially validated) as he thought he was. Moreno.ci (talk) 15:39, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Moreno.ci, are dark patterns are necessarily upsetting looking? Couldn't they be alluring/compelling? -Reagle (talk) 18:25, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

(Casey QIC #11) The three readings for class today cover FOMO, the fear of missing out, as well as growth hacking and "dark pattern" design.

The FOMO reading is an article by Professor Reagle. While the phrase FOMO is new and seems novel to the digital age, it articulates a feeling that is at least centuries old. It represents feelings of Missing Out and being Left Out, and relates to envy, social validation, and social comparison.

The growth hacking reading presents 43 ideas for businesses looking to grow their following online. Some of the techniques are rather standard, like using A/B testing and personalization. Other suggestions veer more towards the "dark design patterns" that the next reading goes into, such as manipulating email sign-up or opt-in pages to sort of trick users into signing up.

The final reading goes into depth on dark patterns sometimes used in interface design. The reading gives three categories of dark design as examples: trick questions, forced continuity, and misdirection. The examples include things like how difficult it is to turn off ad-tracking on some devices -- a setting that is intentionally difficult to turn off because it creates profit for the device creators.

It was interesting to read about dark patterns in user interface design because it is something we all encounter quite often. I know that it is at work in my email inbox every day. I normally unsubscribe from email mailing lists that I'm either no longer interested in or don't recall signing up for. In doing that, I've noticed that many, many mailing lists use a "dark pattern" in their design where following the unsubscribe button included in the bottom of a marketing email will bring you to a page where you can unsubscribe from that list. However, by writing down your email on a clipboard somewhere along the line or entering it into a digital form, you have often signed up for as many as 8-10 different mailing lists that you would need to unsubscribe from individually. So while you may have unsubscribed from emails from a group and wish to be done with them, you may need to keep chasing down unsubscribe links to finally be done with it. This is a use of dark pattern design forced continutity I think? And it does seem fairly unethical, though extra emails in my inbox don't cause any real harm. Casey.ha (talk) 15:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)


(QIC #10)It is true that a number of organizations trick their customers or users into using services they might not want to use. Most online communities use these kinds of tricks to make it easy for customers to accept something unwanted and very hard to undo it. Such include the use of dark patterns as used by Apple into ensuring their users receive ads which they might not want to receive.

According to me, despite the fact that it might be a good move for marketers and online communities to make use of the tricks to create awareness of their products and services, it is unethical and irresponsible in that the users end up using services or products they might not want to use. This includes the use of dark patterns, forced continuity, and misdirection which would, in the end, cause distrust of the specific product of use. Take an example of Apple products Brignull (2013) claimed that uses the dark pattern where the feature of ads blocking is hidden and use an ambiguous wording to deceiving the user into subscribing for the ads while they really want to opt out. The user might be angered by the move which would cause distrust in the product and hence a fall in its sales.

However, I believe that some tricks played on the users have no much negative impact on them. Reagle (2015) argued that a number of them which are good to use on the users in order to win their trust and hence increase customers of that particular product or organization. Such tricks as the use of FoMO to create the sense of exclusivity and giving a user an impression of being bigger than one really is, giving users free trials and extending, sending emails to remind users of their presence and building a community around the users to create rapport and engage customers are just some of the ethical tricks to use to a user. –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 17:53, 6 November 2018 (UTC)


Nov 09 Fri - Debrief: Social breaching[edit]


Nov 13 Tue - Gratitude[edit]

(QIC#11) Based on the role of gratitude within the community, the article "Indebtedness and Reciprocity in Local Online Exchange" by Airi, Vilma and their colleagues, clearly indicates the study that has been undertaken concerning online exchange systems. The systems enhance the technological ability of people to share content, exchange various goods and also special favors under the local geographical setup. Airi (2013) claimed that the process of social exchange is crucial in that it aids in understanding the differences in social behavior via the exchange of valuable services and goods. Moreover, it's vital in social interaction because it plays a significant role in romantic relationships. The article portrays three main types of social exchange. Such includes reciprocal, negotiated and generalized exchange (Airi et al., 2013). On the other hand, The incorporation of such exchange mechanisms within the local perspective is a great deal and calls for acknowledgment and appreciation. For instance, the establishment of "Kassi," an online gift exchange system, makes the exchange of information and goods from the local perspective to be highly effective.

The article, Gratitude and its Dangers in Social Technologies (2014), critiques and emphasizes the fact that technological designs can significantly be influenced by the notion of gratitude. According to the article, it is true that appreciation is an essential ingredient that matters within the social life of a community (Matias, 2014). Consequently, as much as it terms as part of the life story of most individuals, it also has negative impacts. Such impacts are when for example an individual uses such online exchange systems to raise himself above others regarding bragging on how he or she donates to the community.

It's also important to note that gratitude cannot be cultivated in one's mind. Under minimum instances, there can be reminder applications created for example through Facebook posts, whereby one can be continually reminded of the value of gratitude. Gratitude and a ‘thanks' word varies in their applications. The ‘thanks' word can be applied when directed towards a specific person or acts contrary to gratitude as a whole (Matias, 2014).

According to Fung (2011), "WikiLove: An experiment in appreciation", every individual appreciates the fact of being valued. The incorporation of reliability and quality is a phenomenon that has led to improvements within Wikipedia's norms and policies. Therefore, Wikilove represents an appreciation experiment. The experiment facilitates the act of sending messages of appreciation. Therefore, being the prototype of the Wikimedia website, it benefits greatly when the users can offer their feedback on the experiences of using the app.–Hsienhsienlee (talk) 17:29, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

@Hsienhsienlee: do you mean gratitude can or cannot be cultivated in the mind? -Reagle (talk) 17:52, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

QIC #8: The article Indebtedness and Reciprocity in Local Online Exchange explains that the site in question, Kassi, functions in an indirect, generalized exchange of reciprocity. They further explain that feelings of indebtedness can occur when people feel as if they owe something to the other participant in exchange for goods and services provided. Participants were more worried about owing their time or energy to someone than they were about being short-changed for a task they did. This demonstrates that the norm of reciprocity is more prominent than profit-driven self-interest. In order to alleviate these feelings of discomfort that accompany indebtedness, users can practice offering small tokens of appreciation, accepting the nature of indirect exchange, framing requests carefully, minimizing effort in the exchange process, and bartering on behalf of a third party. An easier way to alleviate these feelings is through the recommended design implications of matching people’s characteristics, highlighting the value of being a recipient, and highlighting the exchange process as a whole. In particular, I would argue that the value of being a recipient is the most important of the three. This is because the article emphasizes the notion that most people in a community are eager to help, and so it would benefit the whole of the community is receivers knew just how value their contribution was as well. Moreno.ci (talk) 01:40, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

@Moreno.ci: excellent summary, and I too was struck by the insight about the value of being a recipient. -Reagle (talk) 12:55, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Nov 16 Fri - RTFM[edit]

(QIC #12) According to RTFM newbie who wants to join a community needs to do some research before they join so that they understand some of the words or terms used by the community. Failure to research, the newcomer is forced to ask so many questions that people already in the community might not be willing to answer. The issue of getting knowledge for oneself started with the army and spread to other fields like electronic engineers and programming.

Many online communities require new people to look for information rather than asking questions. Some of the terms used in online forums that newbie wouldn’t be aware of include; LMGTFY- Let me Google that for you, STFW-Search the f*cking web, RTFA-Read the F*cking article, GIYF- Google is your friend and WTFV- watch the f*cking video. Thus with these examples, it truly shows that people should do research before joining a community. After asking the elites of the community sometimes they may tell you, let me Google that for you which is sarcasm because they want to show you it is something you could always read from Google rather than asking. Thus making Google your friend as a newcomer would help you to stay away from embarrassing yourself when you ask some questions that are known to the elites of the communities.

Joseph (2015) states that people are responsible for educating themselves before joining a certain community. Most online forums expect the newbie to acquire knowledge about the community before they join rather than asking rudimentary questions. Newcomers are advised to read the FAQ (frequently asked questions) on online forums to ensure they get conversant with what the people of the community discussion. For example, most online communities for computer geeks need newcomers to be aware of the social and technical terms they use. For example, the newbie is expected to know who a "hacker" and "geek" is before they join a community and start asking questions. Google will always define these words for you rather than asking questions that the elites of the community will start making jokes about how a newcomer does know a simple thing like that. –Hsienhsienlee (talk) 05:47, 16 November 2018 (UTC)


(Casey QIC #12) Today's readings are on the subject of newcomer questions and reading the 'effing manual. I was surprised to learn on Know Your Meme that the first use of the phrase tracks back to 1979 and that the concept was in use decades before that in the Army. Clearly by its longevity in use, reading the manual and familiarizing yourself before asking inane questions is a longstanding norm.

The Reagle article explores the use of the phrase through a feminist context. A possible consequence of the expectation to know or RTFM can be alienation of newcomers but the article also points out that by relegating elementary questions to the FAQ, higher-level discussions can be had in the forum or community, because everyone is working with some baseline or 101 level understanding.

I can think of lots of examples of RTFM online but one that stands out to me as occurring particularly often is on the subreddit for Northeastern, r/NEU. That forum is often flooded by perspective students asking questions about Northeastern that are easily answered by a Google search and detract from the space as a forum for current Northeastern students to discuss goings-on at our school. When I visited the subreddit now to back up this connection, I saw that the first post pinned to the top of the page is an FAQ for accepted high school students. When the discussions on that subreddit are freed from endless questions about NEU from people who don't actually or don't yet go here, the conversations can actually relate to what is going on at NEU. I think that is similar to the feminist forums where discussions about actual issues and more advanced debates are given primary focus instead of simple questions about what feminism is. Casey.ha (talk) 17:01, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

@Casey.ha: this reminds me to go check out he subreddit. -Reagle (talk) 18:18, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Moreno QIC #9 Geek culture is categorized by a desire to learn, improve upon, and share knowledge. All participants must have a baseline understanding for how a community functions in order for it to continue running smoothly. This requires newcomers to either learn through enculturation or socialization. In online geek culture, enculturation can be done by examining the FAQ, the beginners manual, or geek feminism’s jargon file. This shows that effort has been put into learning basic rules, which demonstrates investment to the community and proof of self-reliance. However, the presence of knowledge-power in geek circles often alienates women due to its culture of lording basic information over novices. I would also argue that this is due to the tendency for women to more often be collaborators and men to be competitors. The FF101 Blog and Jargon File alleviates this barrier of language and understanding in geek feminists circles. It also lessens the burden placed on disenfranchised groups that they receive educating people who do not understand or who refuse to learn intersectional issues. Having a source of referential resistance allows geek feminists to ignore “purposeful disruption”.

Regarding the Unicorn Law, I think it’s unfortunate that geek feminists feel as if they need to separate parts of their identity to be taken seriously. This notion reminds me of Daily Show correspondent Dulcé Sloan saying “I don’t have time to be a woman, I’m too busy being black”. You cannot separate these parts of yourself, and others don’t see you as separate parts. So geek feminists and POC need to see that standing up for intersectionality, although intimidating, is crucial. [2] Moreno.ci (talk) 17:34, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

@Moreno.ci: thanks for link, I'll check it out now. -Reagle (talk) 18:18, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Nov 27 Tue - Bootstrapping a niche and Winner-Take-All[edit]


QIC #10 Starting a new online community is a difficult task to undertake. Building a site is the easy part, but establishing and fostering a community that will come to mutual agreeance on norms and ways of functioning is difficult. The major challenges to starting a new community include carving out a niche, making that niche interesting enough for people to choose that space over doing something else, and to obtain a critical amount of people. In order to first create a niche, creators must first decide the scope and purpose of the community, how possible is integration with other sites and communities, and how best to organize interaction amongst the community. Some communities depend on a pull method to entice people, which means members must be compelled to be drawn in on their own accord to check out the site. Other sites use push notifications in order to remind the user to check out something newsworthy. Although people don’t tend to mind push notifications as long as it is not an exorbitant amount, these run the risk of being time-sensitive, which makes it all the more necessary to draw people in through pull information, which means staying up-to-date in real time (DC 1: Lower volume & higher time sensitivity of interaction increase benefits of push notification).

After all it takes to create and foster a new community, there is always the threat of competition. Online spheres exist in a winner-take-all market, and sites compete with each other in the pursuit of retaining new members. In a winner-take-all situation, it is more important to convince newcomers that your community will succeed more so than the fact that it is inherently better. They are showing they are better relatively, not absolutely. This is shown through newcomer retention rates, public awareness, celebrity endorsements. Newcomers are forced to “play the odds” and so prefer the community with more notability and members because it seems more likely to succeed. Moreno.ci (talk) 23:01, 25 November 2018 (UTC)


(QIC#13)According to Kraut (2012) article, there are three main challenges that an individual may experience during the start of a new community. One of the difficulties is carving out a useful niche. The other problem is defending the niche developed in the ecology for the competition between various communities among other alternative methods through which potential members may depend on their time. The last challenge is getting into critical mass. In meeting the first two challenges, an individual has to decide on some strategic choices regarding the scope of the new community as well as its integration and compatibility with other communities. In bootstrapping a new community, it has to recruit its members before becoming a type of society that members can value (Kraut et al., 2012). Moreover, in meeting the third challenge some design approaches can be applied. Some of the methods include substitution of professionally developed content regarding user-generated content in the initial stages, leverage first members for the attraction of the later ones, as well as setting expectations for the future community evolution.

Based on Robert (1995) article provided, online communities have a significant connection with winner-take-all society. The online communities and winner-take-all society attract very many contestants resulting in an efficient consumption and investment pattern (Robert et al., 1995). In most cases, they tend to degrade our cultures due to the increased attraction of the contestants. Winner-take-all society can be developed easily through online communities that invite several members to the society. The online community members make almost all winner-take-all organizations, thus showing a close linkage. Both groups act as business and interaction sites where individuals market their products and services for their businesses. Online communities have enabled winner-take-all markets to make a significant change in the social and economic life of people. Moreover, since several forces involved in the markets are considered to intensify, more change still appears to develop due to online communities.–Hsienhsienlee (talk) 16:20, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Nov 30 Fri - Bootstrapping and critical mass[edit]

(Casey QIC #13) The final 30 design claims in the Kraut and Resnick textbook "Building Successful Online Communities" pertain to growing an online community to 'critical mass.' They define critical mass as the size a community needs to be for users to see clear benefits for their efforts on the platform. For an online community to reach critical mass, it is crucial to leverage the early members for growth. It is also important to design the community in such a way that it attracts the most beneficial type of member for early users. The design claims provide many useful tactics to harness those beneficial users.

In addition to the textbook reading, we read two articles about network effects and Metcalfe's law. The concept of network effects is that an online community or service is more useful the more users it has, i.e. the more people that are on Facebook, the more useful Facebook is. Metcalfe's law provides that the value of a network is an exponential function of the number of its users. However, the article from Harvard Business Review suggests that network effects 'matter less than they used to.' The article makes use of a desktop versus mobile comparison to suggest that the advent of smartphone apps has made it easier to use multiple services and compare their strengths at a moment's notice, while in the desktop era it was more difficult to use an array of different and typically incompatible applications or services.

These readings are particularly interesting now as I consider the final assignment for this course, the newcomer campaign. With concerns over Tumblr's future growing among its userbase including myself and my own 'mutuals' I plan to create a plan for a prototypical 'Tumblr 2' that would welcome Tumblr's existing users (who are not presently violating community norms!) as well as potential new users who may have avoided Tumblr in the past for reasons perhaps related to its reputation. I will certainly be referencing this final set of design claims for that campaign as I found the claims related to bootstrapping and attracting quality users quite compelling. Casey.ha (talk) 16:58, 30 November 2018 (UTC)


Moreno QIC #12 Retaining a substantial amount of followers and having them turn an online site into a community can be difficult when bonds are not formed yet. This is demonstrated in the statement “Even when the total benefits to the community outweigh the new member’s costs, the benefits to the new member may not outweigh the costs, and the member may not join” (p. 248-249) from Kraut and Resnick (2010). In order to offset that, the 2 approaches described to achieve critical mass include making the community more attractive early on, and using current members to incite newcomers to join. To boost membership some ideas include distributing discounts, encouraging original content creation, and displaying membership so non-members can see what their friends are a part of. This last one in particular is important because it may trigger a feeling of missing out (FOMO) on shared experiences with friends, and this in turn will generate new members through affective-commitment (DC 20-23).

Attracting early members to a new community without the lure of friends already on the site is especially difficult. Potential members must be swayed that the cost of joining the site is valuable, and the probability that it will succeed is high. Some ways to make the community more inviting include increasing value of the community early on, reducing startup costs to join, have benefits for those who adopt to the site early on, and set expectations.

Moreno.ci (talk) 17:16, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zm5mw5/facebook-content-moderation-lawsuit-ptsd). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/09/28/dulce-sloan-black-racism-america_a_23543980/?utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&utm_source=bv_fb&utm_medium=facebook&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000047&fbclid=IwAR1KmjVEvMYxJz9Ot4asS_GnzGPdLJrOd51j1fdczUIJ4eHXUE3xw9B2OvA