Do you know what social grooming is?
Social animals do it a lot: they clean each other, not only to keep the community clean and healthy, but for social bonding. Social grooming can also be a form of reconciliation and conflict resolution.
For a long time no one knew how this guy actually looked like. I my imagination, for years, this is how I pictured him:
But he does not look like Silent Bob at all. He looks like this:
Would you ever point to this guy on the streets of NYC a tell this is the mind behind 4Chan? I wouldn’t.
Prior to became the major meme factory in the whole internet, 4Chan grew a very strong community over the years. Being anonymous and ephemeral (there’s no archive) helps but the community is the basic key. Most people think 4Chan is only the /b/ forum (today it’s called “Random”, but I guess “b” stands for “bizarre”) but it’s not true: there are almost 40 different foruns (from Japanese Culture to Sports) and less than half are 18+. Basicaly, tons of people sharing pictures of almost anything everyday, just for fun.
Today Poole is working on another picture sharing community, Canv.as. Canvas is not anonymous like 4Chan and it’s also not open for Sign Up yet. Why run such a strict Beta for a business you basically know how to rule?
That’s the social grooming he was talking to Dixon: He doesn’t want to start 4Chan again. He wants to build an image sharing/remix tool and his strategy to keep it safe for work is not moderation: it’s slow scaling the community.
He talks about my 2 favorites examples in community management: Reddit and Flickr. For Poole, the success of both of them is giving people different places for different interests. If you do not try to moderate or push rules into a group of people, they will find their way to self-regulation, stating what is acceptable and what it’s not. Giving a ‘flag as inappropriate’ feature is enough.
The slow scaling process is giving Can.vas an opportunity to build a strong a community before letting everybody in. Poole’s strategy allow the forums to have their own etiquette and when people start joining, they won’t be able to mess with such a tight community. They will get kicked out naturally. Makes sense, ahn? It actually happens in Flickr and Reddit: you get banned or buried by other users, respectively, for not playing by the rules.
Well, I hope I was able to make myself clear in English. This is the far I’ve got on speech complexity in this blog until now and I would appreciate any feedback