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Fools,

Insulation is good for houses and clothing in less temperate climes. It's not so good for large online communities where it's expected that there will be a constant influx of new members. The initial reception says a lot about who we are as a community. When we get so insular that new faces are met with suspicion right out of the gate, it's time to reexamine who we are, and what we profess.

Part of the charm here sometimes is a jaded cynicism. It's a good defense against telemarketers and performance artists. Not so good when used indiscriminately, without giving the subject the benefit of the doubt. Imagine you are the new member reading what you are writing. Would you have stayed?

Carrie Nation gave temperance a bad name. When we are conversing with new members, a bit of it can go a long way in making someone feel welcome, rather than shunned.

Richard
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Are you going to cross-post that on several other boards?

Keith
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There is almost a kind of economy associated with the social interactions within a group. When someone new enters a group, they are allowed a certain number of 'eccentricity points.' Think of them as allowances for the person to break the pre-existing norms of the group due to honest error and mistake. Over time, a person shows that they understand the norms (rules) of the group and they earn points by virtue of showing they know how to conform and generally do conform.

When someone comes into a group with a huge head of steam, they exhaust their eccentricity points allowance right off the bat. That is why we don't have tolerance for the newbie who comes in and tells us how we are going to hades or convert us their perfect view of the world, etc. Others, however, come here, participate in conversations, learn about the topic at hand, we learn about their perspective in respectful discussion and they show they understand they are not here to convert anyone, necessarily. Over time, they earn more eccentricity points just due to time within the group. These points provide the opportunity for the established person to break a rule every once in a while (as long as it is not too egregious) and keep their status in the group. They've shown they know and respect the group's norms, so that when they break them we figure they are either having a bad day, or necessity is requiring it for them. Either way, we allow it as long as it doesn't become routine for them (exhausting their eccentricity point allowance), in which case they are shunned.

Paul
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Well said, Paul. That's a good analysis of group dynamics.

Richard
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When someone comes into a group with a huge head of steam, they exhaust their eccentricity points allowance right off the bat. That is why we don't have tolerance for the newbie who comes in and tells us how we are going to hades or convert us their perfect view of the world, etc. Others, however, come here, participate in conversations, learn about the topic at hand, we learn about their perspective in respectful discussion and they show they understand they are not here to convert anyone, necessarily. Over time, they earn more eccentricity points just due to time within the group. These points provide the opportunity for the established person to break a rule every once in a while (as long as it is not too egregious) and keep their status in the group.

interesting model.

i suspect that when you do the Serious Study and write the Dissertation, you'll find
on-line 'communities' into shibboleths and VERY stingy with their EPs.....

that they stand somewhere between modern, relatively fluid groups and highly rigid
tribes.


-x
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interesting model.

i suspect that when you do the Serious Study and write the issertation, you'll find on-line 'communities' into shibboleths and VERY stingy with their EPs.....

that they stand somewhere between modern, relatively fluid groups and ighly rigid tribes.


Ya think FB wants to do another dissertation? He'll probably get a grad student to do it.

Randall
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I agree but there is another point of view that needs to be considered by new folks.
Don't assume you have all the answers or that your complete and total anaylsis of a situation is appropriate since you are new, not knowing the history of what may be an ongoing discussion, issue, concern, etc.

A little bit of observation before jumping in with full force is always good advice to someone 'new' in the room.

RBS
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Are you going to cross-post that on several other boards?


It wouldn't make any difference on a few, such as on PA.

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