The value you get by being part of a community, part 2

You are reading this in gemspace (or an html proxy), so you probably understood that the 'deal' you get on mainstream social media is not great. You are wondering what value you get out of them and what consequences in your mental clarity you accept when using mainstream social media.

But what is the value of community membership? What is the 'why'? Do we think about this? Or do we react to a dopamine-inducing, carefully designed stimulus?

Here's a FAANG dev (note the handle: unplugnow) not wanting to work on tracking (from that HN thread on my first post)

[–] unplugnow 1 day ago | unvote | prev | next | mute

I am a 20+ year veteran of FAANGs. I studied compsci at the best schools and personally had a hand in shaping a lot of the tech that powers features used by billions of people. I’ve refused to work on projects that track people just to use them as the product. I refuse to work on products that are purposely designed to be addictive. I won’t let my kids near this stuff. Let that sink in for a moment.

In her book Working in Public, Nadia Eghbal describes the four kinds of communities that exist based on her research into open source communities:

Federations: larger groups where there are significant amount of contributors creating content

Stadiums: larger groups that are following and engaging around a single creator

Clubs: small groups where most or all of the members are contributing significantly

Toys: a simple idea for a new community or platform that's still very small and experimental

The challenge for gemspace is to go from Toy to Club. This probably needs federation (atom feeds are a good step), and this federation needs to be decentralized, like Mastodon.

One beautiful thing about this gemspace being so small is that search engines can show you backlinks. This is good to track the origin of ideas. Gemspace could be a way to share zettelkastens, but that's a post for another day!

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