A community of technology community managers, leaders, and builders.

Starting anew vs helping existing / forking & fragmentation


#1

Both fragmentation of communities and projects etc.

Ohloh tracks thousands of projects, most all long dead

Way better off contributing to something that exists

Social issue, not technical issue mostly

Flickr Groups - thousands, most inactive
spam and junk infected popular projects
mods abandon, nobody takes over

need to build in ownership transition, need to close/kill dead projects

if can’t adapt, if too rigid, then leads to fragmentation because project can’t be modified

bulk / pollution

starting a maker-space where there had not been any
using Facebook but FB not “hacker culture” — concerns about ethics no, eh?

People want to make NEW platforms and communities from a sense of
control and ownership

Both new or helping old can work
transition plans are important

Companies run themselves out of business by being too controlling
purposeful silo control, walled-gardens

compatible licenses, compatibility

motivations of people: serving, doing good, helping vs wanting to do your thing

not really an either/or situation: you can do your own thing WHILE helping existing projects

tribalism / human tendencies

community building actually involves fighting against our tendencies for tribalism and to kill each other

effective organizations can only reach 150 people or so, better less

ok, there are many communities but we need coordination / APIs between groups

culture of due diligence, doing your homework

but need creative diversity
part of a big ecosystem

but having competition is great for innovation, trade-offs, pressure
diversity brings out the best values

world is not injured by having 1000 flowers bloom

paradox of choice though…

the economic system automatically limits the choices though

projects need to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved, that helps avoid fragmentation

problem of fragmentation and all mediocre

but used to be a real terror of forking, now less scary because it is easier to collaborate / merge etc.

Not-invented-here is still dangerous

Need leadership to rally people
focus less on demonizing the forks and more about providing leadership

Surf the tribalism instead of oppose it

But biased leader coordinating communities is problematic

But fragmentation isn’t just about choice paralysis, it can be about all the fragmented groups failing to solve larger problems where more coordination might succeed.

Basically anarchist principles should be considered, embrace the diversity of views, but we can encourage culture of awareness


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