The life of a minor minor prophet, not the rock

Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Trust , Social Capital, and Activity in Community Building

Marc's Voice → Pierre's Web

Pierre writes:

I've been very interested in how trust works and evolves between people. It's an integral part of what makes eBay work, obviously. And it's critical for effective communities.


Networks usually evolve around a particular purpose. They don't arise just because they're a good idea. Over the years, I've been particularly fond of pointing out that every town seems to have a Community Center, but people rarely seem to actually go there. The existence of a Community Center doesn't mean that the community is effective, or even what we would consider a "true" community.

Trust is a good idea. Social capital is a good idea. Social capital must exist for a network, or a community, to be effective. But trust doesn't evolve just because everyone agrees it's a necessary part of their lives. Trust has to be established within the context of a relationship or an interaction. It doesn't exist in a vacuum.

and Marc responds:

Pierre is talking about EXACTLY what I don't like about Ryze, Intro, Friendster - even Fotolog.  They spend all this time introducing everyone to each other and then what?  Private email?  Message boards?


It's all about activities - what people DO TOGETHER.  Pierre puts in reference to trust, but we see it as activities.  Creating a context for how people interact, collaborate, entertain, flirt, mate, help, build, produce, mentor, learn and grow is what we're focusing on.  As Director was to multimedia - so will the Community Commons be to on-line communities.

3:20:56 PM    

The News Hour on Blogging

Full video of the 11 minute piece.  (Large 50 meg Quicktime movie)

The McNeil Lehrer News Hour just did a 10 minute piece on weblogs.  It had some weaknesses, but remember, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

The Good:

  • they got the point across that not all weblogs are warblogs
  • they talked about the role weblogs played in the Trent Lott story
  • They used the word blogsphere
  • they raised public awareness of blogs

The Bad:

  • The piece opens with 4 co-located webloggers hanging out in bar outside Washington DC talking about their site traffic.

    • TV is not good at depicting geographically and temporally distributed activities.  The piece contained lots of pan and zoom shots of people typing on their keyboards, but failed to capture the importance of community inherent in weblogging.

  • They did not show how one actually blogs.  No mention of blogger, moveable type, or radio
    (I wish TV shows had hyperlinks for more info)

  • They didn't interview any top bloggers.
    (Someone should have cued them in to ETCON.)

1:55:14 AM    

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