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I'm posting this here because this is, presumably, where the most weathered and experienced among you dwell, but if you think it would be better to post this elsewhere, don't hesitate to tell me so.
I was wondering if it could be possible to create a guide that would help new and developing users to understand social dynamics on "the Internet"'s discussion "marketplaces" and which would help mitigate Eternal September effects.
I don't think it would be advisable to make it a wiki because of the inherent of trolling that comes with warning people off on how to deal with trolls, especially if it comes with specific sections on how to seamlessly join (and perhaps also on why one could possibly want to join) specific places, such as some Imageboards and some forums I shall not name here.
Expanding into analogous tactics and effects in Real Life, and developing on the reasons why similar attacks don't have the same effect or aren't treated the same way, might also help people who have good skills in one area to quickly and efficiently translate them to the other. Compare and contrast, for example Dave Canergie's How To Make Friends and Influence People and Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power: Which tactics would work best in which kind of environment? Which ones are best to achieve what common purposes, or establish what persona/reputation?
A very important subsection would deal with putting things into perspective. People spend an inordinate amount of effort into correcting someone who is wrong in the Internet, gaining little from it and hurting their personal lives outside of the net. Other people exert an extreme amount of psychological violence because of a perceived lack of consequences: documenting examples of when such things do have horrifying consequences, and increasing awareness, might help mitigate that sense of aggression.
Works that have inspired me, besides the two aforementioned books:
In order to make the guide more entertaining and engaging, it might be a good idea to split it into two mirror sections: "How to successfuly make a productive, measured use of (every)one's time on the Internet", and "How to successfully be an unprincipled, pragmatic monster in getting what you want from the net". The latter would be a satire: although it could be used for its outwardly stated goal, its actual purpose would be to show a great selection of notable uses of underhanded tactics and rutheless behavior, both successful and unsuccessful, and both with good and bad intentions, so that the reader may imbue themselves with vicarious experience, getting hardened against such tactics and warned about their dangers.
There's lots and lots of newbies flocking to the Internet, of all ages and from all over the world, and they deserve, I think, to have a chance to be warned and prepared for the worst and the best that can happen, without having to "lurk" (that is, spend hours upon hours wading through content that probably wouldn't interest them). That, and the psychological and historical interest of these case studies might make this potentially titanic effort worthwhile.
I'd also be interested in projects dealing with how to manage school life, how to manage parents, the workplace, and so on. There are many, many self-help books on the topic, but I suspect the world would benefit from an online, encyclopedic, hypertext-laced compilation of that knowledge. But that would be another topic for another thread, wouldn't it...
edited 14th May '12 7:25:41 AM by TheHandle
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How well does it match the trope?