Date Posted: 2002-12-23 12:09:30
Dear Carmen, Fitzy and Melanie
Thanks very much for your responses. Particularly Carmen for her polite post when faced with such a long response.
I would have liked to respond to each person individually, but as Fitzy discovered there's apparently no threading available on this message board. Another surprising CCD.net omission. I'm not aware of any current commercial or open source message board products that don't offer message threading - except maybe dinosaurs like WebCT.
"On the whole, I think your criticism is a little harsh."
I appreciate that my remarks regarding CCD.net may have sounded overly critical. It's a measure of how far short I believe CCD.net has fallen of best practice in CCD online. I'm involved in an online CCD project that has at least 50 times the constructive community participation found here at CCD.net. That we're still talking about the "potential" of CCD.net after a year in "beta" in my view points to serious problems with the way in which CCD.net has been implemented. This sounds to me rather like the long gone language of the Dot.Com era where people invested heavily in potential that was never realised.
"You know, one of the barriers to participation is that people think they might be flamed, or be addressed negatively in an aggressive tone. If it is increased participation you are after, I don't think your hostile way of frazing your message will help very much."
Arguments about hostility aside, I'm not sure that the facts support this claim. A quick check of the message boards here reveals that the original posting in this discussion has prompted more responses than any other post since April this year. My posting would appear to be more a spur and incentive for participation than a barrier.
"I think the database format that you complain of is necessary (how else would you have projects listed?)"
In my second post I made a number of practical suggestions for additional display formats that would add value to items stored in the database.
Melanie also wrote:
"I disagree with you that "Registration and moderation are barriers to active participation"
I think I explained fairly clearly my rationale for that statement. I don't deny that there may be other reasons why registration and moderation might be implemented, but these considerations need to be weighed against the knowledge that registration and moderation are barriers to active participation.
Melanie also wrote:
"Carmen's point about the flood of advertising is well-made and, I would have thought, pretty obvious."
Flood? I counted three cutlery posts over a period of a couple of years.
Then again, given the trifling number of community contributions to ORCA over that period, perhaps three just about constitutes a flood.
A little judicious editing after the event is probably a far more effective strategy for dealing with a few inappropriate postings.
Melanie also wrote of registration that:
"I think it implies that discussions slated for various fora are valid and important"
I agree that registration might go some way to validating discussions, but not as implemented here.
"[W]hile everyone is welcome to state their view, they should take on the responsibility of 'naming' themselves, of standing up for their opinions."
As implemented, registration provides no such assurance. Any number of "faked" registrations can be created in minutes.
I'm not anti-registration. But it should be implemented strategically to serve the overall goals of the site. Almost invariably, this will mean that there should be graded opportunities for people to participate - some requring registration and/or moderation, some not.
"Are you passionate about promoting CCD activities..."
Passionate and actively involved.
"or about making your sometimes-unconstructive criticisms heard?"
I'm afraid if I was to be any more constructive I'd be rolling up my sleeves and rebuilding the site.
"If you are concerned about a possible waste of funds through lack of use of the site, then why not do your own bit to promote ccd.net,"
I don't believe that promotion will remedy the situation. I consider there are flaws with the online community development strategies employed by the site. Until they are addressed, further promotion will simply be "flogging a dead horse" - and inviting more people to come and watch while you do it.
It's pleasing to see from Mark's 2003 Plans post that further development is in the offing. Third time lucky?
Merry Christmas all.
Other messages for this discussion: