Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Different communities, same pattern.
Published on July 11, 2004 By Draginol In Websites

Net communities are fairly predictable.  They go through various stages during their life cycle.  JoeUser is a net community too and the same things I've seen on countless other communities I see here.  What is unique about JoeUser is that it's also a blog site.  Most blog sites are isolated from one another.  Being isolated from the other blogs on a blog community has its pros and cons.  On the pro side, you have much more control over how your site is promoted.  On the con side, unless you do a lot of promotion, odds are, no one is going to read what you write.  Here on JoeUser, even the most obscure bloggers get readers. That's probably why JoeUser has become so popular so fast.

So what are the stages of a net community?

Stage 1: Arrival of the core group.  When a net community starts, it will attract a small group of regulars. This number is usually fairly specific -- under 30 people who participate heavily.  Since the new site has little traffic, this group dominates the site.

Stage 2: Community Expansion. The website begins to grow exponentially towards its eventual "maximum size".  So lots of new people arrive. The regulars, typically friendly and social able, welcome these new people to the community. Some of the regulars try to hint that these newcomers need to respect the existing pecking order and other unwritten rules that the regulars have established.

Stage 3: Melodrama. Some of the regulars, now using terms like "Old guard" or "Founders" or "Old timers" or other terms to convey that they've been part of the community for longer than others, begin to write about the lack of manners, civility, decency, etc. of many of the newcomers.  Various melodramatic posts/articles are written about how everything is falling apart.

Stage 4: Exodus. Some of the "old guard" now begin to leave in a huff. This usually includes so long winded, melodramatic post talking about how the community has gone to hell in the hand basket and how they predict that other people (like themselves) will soon leave as well.  The implication being that the original regulars are more equal than newcomers and the loss of their presence will doom the site.

Stage 5: Stabilization.  The "old guard" that remains are the ones who can adapt to the community's growth and maturity. They are the ones who recognize that they are one member amongst many. The community will have lots of activity and interest but a lot less melodrama at this point.  Occasionally, an "old timer" will drop in and bemoan how much nicer things were in the "old days" when the community had a "specific character".  The most popular users at this point will form a new set of regulars.

Communities tend to grow in a quasi-step ladder type growth curve.  So this 5 stage cycle will repeat itself several times until the community reaches its maximum growth (based on the resources of the site, subject matter, marketing, whatever).


Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 11, 2004
"Stage 3: Melodrama. Some of the regulars, now using terms like "Old guard" or "Founders" or "Old timers" or other terms to convey that they've been part of the community for longer than others, begin to write about the lack of manners, civility, decency, etc. of many of the newcomers. Various melodramatic posts/articles are written about how everything is falling apart."

I hope that JoeUser never reaches this stage dear boy.

on Jul 11, 2004
Sounds about right. I've noticed the "melodrama" phase often includes targeting of talented newer bloggers (how DARE they be above me! I've been here longer), without realizing that, to climb the ranks in these blogs, you have to work hard at it.
on Jul 11, 2004
to climb the ranks in these blogs, you have to work hard at it.


On the contrary a small dedicated clique can easily manipulate the rankings. I did it myself when I first made my controversial entrance here.
on Jul 11, 2004
a small dedicated clique can easily manipulate the rankings.


How does that work exactly?
on Jul 11, 2004

Brad- it is mostly pointless to ive you and insightful rating with your already astronomical points lead but I gave this one anyways. I had thoguht about this before but was unable to get the words right.

on Jul 11, 2004
How does that work exactly?


By having everyone in the small clique respond to each others posts multiple times, you can easily gain a large number of points. This, in turn, will increase your rating.

So basically, Sir Peter has admitted to cheating.

Peace,
Beebes
on Jul 11, 2004
So basically, Sir Peter has admitted to cheating.


So JoeUser must really be a game (since you can cheat at it).

That concept works for me.
on Jul 11, 2004
Well the points systems does help to add interest in content provision.
on Jul 11, 2004
So basically, Sir Peter has admitted to cheating


As long as you blog on public forums, where discussion is encouraged, how this can be construed as cheating is lost to me...

Sir Peter has admitted to being extremely popular, with a myriad of supporters always offering to lend their support and show their dedication by commenting on his blog.

Great article Brad, it shows that you have been around net communites for quite some time, and your experience and advise is valued.

BAM!!!
on Jul 12, 2004
I liked the article. I had seen that happen at one of my favorite websites TWOP. It had started out as a snarky website, with many of the regulars being sarcastic in their posts. However, as the site's popularity grew, the people who did take tv seriously started posting. Eventually, the people who had started there as the sarcastic ones didn't like that the new people didn't find tv so unintentionally funny anymore and left. Every so often, I'll read a complaint on their sister site about the old TWOP.

Really good article, Brad.
on Jul 12, 2004
Sir Peter has admitted to being extremely popular, with a myriad of supporters always offering to lend their support and show their dedication by commenting on his blog.


This is right, a small grouping of pathetic sexually frustrated housewives have bullied JoeUsers into following their idiotic doctrine of analysing how long men "poop" for and how much they enjoy baking and talking about their husbands. This could never match some of my more famous articles which I am sure Brad will agree are in the JU hall of fame.

It is not difficult to get a high ranking if you spend your whole day blogging at JU. I have never considered site rankings to be significant because points do not necessarily mean that a person writes good blogs. I value substance over points which is something my detractors can never exhibit.
on Jul 12, 2004

My articles dwarf others in popularity because I don't just rely on JoeUser's auto promotion features. I go out to other sites, other blog sites, etc. and email them about the article and they'll put a link up to them which will spread from there. 

Most blogs here don't even have a blog roll. I.e. they don't even go out and get people to link to their own blog. 

on Jul 12, 2004
I go out to other sites, other blog sites, etc.


Why not fill in a Sir Peter contact form at sirpetermaxwell.com? I shall be happy to link to some of your articles dear boy.


Link

on Jul 12, 2004
A blog roll, is that like a link of your favourite blogs?? I've tried to do this a few times, and I don't seem to have the option of adding links to site is it? People have tried to explain it to me, but I can't find that option....
on Jul 13, 2004
Sally, click on "My Account" (on my screen it's in the top right hand corner under my name). On the screen that pops up you should be able to see a box that you can check wich says "Manage site custom links". If it doesn't, just keep trying. Sometimes it won't appear for me either (it's done this twice today).
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