MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


Re: Talker-ization of MOOs

> Well, it's only a problem if the MOO has higher goals that just providing
> the equivalent of a giant IRC channel. There are certainly ways to foster
> more 'community' among your MOO users, which I think is what the original
> writer was getting at here. It's something that's been a very important
> (and often elusive) goal at the MOO I've tried to create (with lots of
> help, of course!) over the last 11 months.

If the person designing/running a MOO does have a higher goal of
fostering community, then we have a very serious question in regards
to evaluation: how exactly do you determine whether or not you've
assisted in building a sense of community/participation among your
users (above and beyond the simple fact that you've enabled them
to talk together in the first place by providing the MOO)?  I,
personally, would be extremely hesitant to tie such an evaluation
to the particular technologies within a given MOO and their
relative use/non-use.  The people hanging out together in one room
may be a tightly-bound community.  The people exploring every
nook and cranny and trying out every last feature in the MOO
could, perhaps, give a damn about each other.  The opposite could
obviously also apply in both cases. (although I will note that
most of my serious interactions with the people I consider part
of my community tend to consist of hanging out in one room talking,
preferably a room with a Guinness tap in one corner).

For the original question, perhaps the approach that should be
taken is not, 'how do I get users to start using what I'm providing,'
but rather 'do the users need anything beyond what they've currently
got available?'  If the answer to the second question is 'no', then
it's probably not going to matter a great deal how wonderful what
you create is; it's always going to have at least a minimal learning curve
to adopt and already-satisfied customers are not likely to put out
the effort.  If the answer is 'yes', then I'd say the followup 
questions are 'why' and 'what can I do about it?'

In any event, the first step in approaching this question probably
shouldn't be talking to the people on this list; in should be talking
to your users and finding out what they want/need that you might
be able to provide.  The tools that are most likely to succeed are
those that your users ask for.

> I'd like to see some discussion on this, since it interests me a lot (and
> hopefully others) and since I think the sense of community that most MOOs
> lack is something to be concerned about and analyzed.

I agree (a lot), and would also like to see more discussion on this

Jerry McDonough -- jmcd@info.Berkeley.EDU             |    (......)
UCB Sch. of Lib. & Info. Studies                      |    \ *  * /
"Tell him I've been too fucking busy.  Or vice versa."|    \  <>  /
             -- Dorothy Parker, explaining a missed   |     \ -- /  SGNORMPF!!!
                deadline                              |      ||||

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