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Authors rights and common work: an ethical conundrum

Here’s a practical question for those of you who know or manage communities, especially those that actually produce «knowledge objects» worth mentioning. Picture this. A conversation starts (a forum thread). Several dozen people participate. The result is a hugely interesting and professionally valuable piece of text, tens of pages long, written during months of exchange. … Sigue leyendo

The sincerest form of flattery…

… is said to be imitation. A short while back, I was surprised by a very kind email from one of the managers of an astronomers’ association. They asked for permission to adopt (and adapt) the rules and methods used in Macuarium.com’s inter-user marketplace: apparently, common members of both communities suggested it when they encountered … Sigue leyendo

When push comes to shove with abusive users

Large online communities share a slight problem: in order to enable conversations, there’s a few guidelines that need to be followed. New topics must go in the appropriate forum, and it’s very much reccomended to do a search before asking a question anew; good manners are required; and so on. But out of (for instance) … Sigue leyendo

Protección de datos online: la LOPD y los foros

Como casi todo el mundo sabe (en España), existe una ley que pretende regular el uso que se puede hacer de los datos personales recogidos por entidades y empresas. La LOPD, respaldada por la Agencia de de Protección de Datos, ha tenido bastante efecto para castigar los peores abusos en este sentido. La mayor parte … Sigue leyendo

Price-fixing and communities of practice

There’s a nice mailing list called «OnFac» (for «On Facilitation») where there is some exchange of opinions related to community facilitation. It does not often deal with communities of practice, and it’s not my favourite lurking-ground, but some nuggets do crop up. This week there was an exchange that ended thus: On 21/06/07, Elissa Perry … Sigue leyendo

Anonymity, reputation, counter-revolution

While reading the WikiPatterns site I jumped over to this article on A List Apart (John Grohol, April 2006). Not exactly groundbreaking but not less relevant for that… and the comments are just as illustrative. Back in the days I was designing my first fully administered forum (OK, so it was less than ten years … Sigue leyendo

Blogs and communities (II): resistance and collaboration

(This is a draft version, comments and criticism most welcome). Blogs have had a serious impact on communities all over the world. They have been the subject of debate – as both tools and nemesis of communities based on older resources such as forums and mailing lists. They have been criticised as community killers and … Sigue leyendo

Blogs as community killers?

Here is an experiment. For some years, I’ve been witness and part of an interesting debate (at Knowledgeboard, at Macuarium, at…) about the role of blogs in communities. Some say blogs help to build them and spawn interesting content and discussions; some say it deprives the community of a nucleus of shared conversations and thus … Sigue leyendo