Month: August 2003

experimenting in groups: the quiet voices.

One thing Laurie and I have been investigating over the years is how to bring forward the quieter voices in a community. In most communities, there’s a group of folks with fairly thick skins and a willingness to enter the mosh pit to get their comments heard — and a second group with lots of interesting things to say, but not as willing to elbow in and make themselves heard over the noise… One thing Laurie and I have been investigating over the years is how to bring forward the quieter voices in a community. In most communities, there’s a group of folks with fairly thick skins and a willingness to enter the mosh pit to get their comments heard — and a second group with lots of interesting things to say, but not as willing to elbow in and make themselves heard over the noise… We’ve found that second population to be as knowledgable and interesting as the primary population — just quieter. So one of the things we’ve looked for is ways to bring them forward into the community discussions. (it should be noted that when we’ve talked about this issue in our communities, the normal response is some variation of it’s no big deal, just start talking — and that normal response comes from the folks who don’t mind the mosh pit atmosphere in the first...

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The Sharks in 2003-2004

Over in Frank’s blog, he asks a question i’ve heard a lot — how are the sharks going to make up the loss of the offense with Selanne gone and the other changes? the Sharks have been saying all along that good defense along with the expected play of their players, especially the younger players, will do it. Fans have been (rightfully) skeptical. But will it? Basically, the players no longer with the Sharks contributed about .69 goals a game last season. That’s not chopped liver, but much as i appreciate Selanne as a player, when you look at his production in San Jose, it simply isn’t that great, and isn’t that hard to replace. So our goal (heh) is to find 3/4 of a goal a game. First step: last year, our special teams sucked. Penalty kill was 30th in the league, we were 23rd in short handed goals allowd, and 23rd in short handed goals scored. If you assume the Sharks merely get back to a decent penalty kill, that’ll cut .13 goals a game off of the oppositions scoring. If you want to admit they might be decent (10th of 30 in the league), that goes up to .2 goals a game. Short handed: if the sharks could get back to average, that’d drop 2 goals. If they get back to average in short handed goals,...

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Alligators and swamps…

When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember you’re there to drain the swamp. And worse, all it takes is one alligator. Trolls don’t scale. you don’t need lots of problem-makers to screw up or kill a community; one or two is enough. That was a key problem with USENET: one idiot you could ignore, three would make you crazy, ten would make you leave, and USENET had no way to ban out the trolls — kill files help cut the noise, but earplugs aren’t the same as silence. It used to be that I’d spend a lot of time trying to work with problem-makers, trying to solve problems. I found, though, that most of the time, that work was wasted. Their either couldn’t get it or didn’t want to try. Or lied through their teeth at me just to make me think they’d behave, until my back was turned. A few of those convinced me to stop wasting my time, at least most of the time. Life is too short to be taken advantage of. As Bill Cosby once said, Parents don’t want justice. Parents want quiet. It serves no constructive purpose for the list (or my sanity) to have a long, nasty fight before kicking out a troll, so now, I tend to use a quick hook on obvious cases — pull the...

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