What Makes a Community ?

Interesting post from Matt Mullenweg on his WordPress development blog, and what makes blog (or other social networking software) interaction into a community, rather than just “noise”. Respect. Reminded me of the Friends of Wisdom rules I drafted …

Rule #1 RESPECT – Understand & Question before Disagree & Criticize. Critical debate is essential to our agenda, but anyone voicing direct disagreement with or criticism of the arguments of another must be seen to have understood, or sincerely attempted to understand, the others’ argument and to have related their counter argument to it.

Rule #2 RESPECT – No “Ad Hominem” attacks on the Individual. Absolute no-no. Anyone having trouble with an individual should resolve privately with that individual, and involve moderator(s) in absolute confidence if mediation or moderation is considered necessary.

Rule #3 RESPECT – Duty of Care when using Rhetoric or Irony. OK, but life (mine and yours) would be boring and sterile if we politely agreed with each other. So lively, critical, robust, intellectual debate is positively encouraged. What will not be tolerated is any perceived intent to circumvent Rules #1 & #2 under cover of rhetoric or irony.

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