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Veddy Interesting

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makovette
Jul. 21st, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
John,

A most thought provoking essay, many thanks for the linkage!

He's nailed a lot of the social patterns I've seen over and over again regardless of the tech behind it since I spun up my first RBBS in 1986. The concept of a core group of gardeners in a large group is totally on the money and one I foster daily in SL...

Some background and discussion if I may spam up your LJ:

I have 3 furry "sims" in Second Life now: Wolf Valley, Jaguar Valley and as of ~3 weeks ago, Serenity Woods.

Wolf and Jaguar are traditional, lease virtual land to the Residents for fun and (tiny) profit, sims. Each sim has a group of up to 10 super users call Estate Administrators who have two main roles: Help noobs out and police the place from griefers and thugs like these high quality VR gone RL griefers. This image demonstrates why just being an account holder != being a Citizen and why some form of .gov is required in any group.

Serenity Woods however is a totally different deal than Wolf or Jaguar. It's far more of a 1967 hippy commune than the autocratic benign dictatorship model used in Wolf and Jaguar. The sim admins have the same roles as those in Jaguar (help noobs and play cop), but their primary roles are to build, maintain and promote community in the sim. True "gardeners" in the sense of the essay.

It's been a far more time and socially intensive effort than I imagined when I bought SW. I have made a few "It's my sim, this policy is changing" calls, primarily in the area of sim security and getting the finances from red to green. Beyond that it's been a govern by suggestion and moderating the staff meetings (yes meetings! :) role.

Serenity is doing much better financially (hardest $0 cash flow/break even point I've ever worked for :) and the community is more engaged now than before - the gardeners have real goals and deliverables and seem pleased with their expanded roles.

So yeah, the article is very helpful in rolling up a lot of online and offline group social dynamics and makes for very useful and illuminating reading to unravel group dynamics in a tech world.

Thanks!
Mako

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