Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Managing On-Line Communities

An acquaintance pointed me to several references that discuss aspects of on-line communities that are, to some degree, applicable to the new blogosphere and wiki-space communities. The first analyzes the characteristics of various MUD participant-types and how they interact with each other.
Bartle, Richard (1996) Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who Suit MUDs.
In essense, the four main player types are achievers, explorers, socializers, and killers. The MUD can encourage or discourage each of these player types by the suite of capabilities that are engineered into the MUD.

The second describes the creation and management of a virtual world.
Morningstar, Chip and Farmer, Randall (1990) The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat.
In sum, "cyberspace is defined more by the interactions among the actors within it than by the technology with which it is implemented" and "detailed central planning is impossible; don't even try."

The third uses an agent-based system to model social behavior.
Epstein, Josh and Axtel, Rob (1996) Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up.
And the last is:
Herz, JC (2002) Harnessing the Hive. (Abstract and Full Text.)
Where it is argued that the open source business model of people freely contributing to a shared body of knowledge can actually produce economic value.

Thanks J.C.

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