Derek "Heather's Spouse" Powazek interviews Howard "Online Community" Rheingold on the past and future of online community.
I think there has been a partial breakdown of the cooperative ethic that an essential element to the success and growth of the early internet. Back then there was a certain amount of understanding of basic netiquette and an expectation of a cooperative behavior. That was the norm from the very beginning and that has made the internet valuable. Those norms are not located in any handbook, although you can find some basic documents on netiquette. They've mostly been taught to newcomers by the people who were already there.
What used to happen was that every September, a bunch of new freshmen would join universities and get their first internet accounts and would start flooding Usenet, asking questions that were already answered in the FAQ and doing other things that were breaches of basic netiquette. They would then be educated by the old-timers, sometimes rather rudely, sometimes more patiently. But the old-timers took the time, even if they were flaming, to pass on the norms.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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