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Public Square or Private Space

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 1 month ago

Tiffany Brown, webinsta.com, blackfeminism.org

Melinda Casino, Sour Duck

Barb Dybwad, weblogs, inc.

Lisa Stone, blogher.org


Shared interest groups – people have always congregated w shared interests. Online, no geographical boundaries.


Race, sexual orientation, gender – people want to coalesce around these identities.


In every day life, we aren’t able to talk about these things. Want to connect online.


Are you disempowering the group by being exclusive?

- Melinda: it’s good to have community that is educational and supporting but there is a risk of getting stale. No ideas from outside, also may not be pushing ideas outside. Radical feminism (separatism).

- Tiffany: you don’t get the outside chatter. You don’t have to educate ppl to bring them up to speed – can focus on what you need to do as a group. Get more done can advance agenda, figure things out.

- Man in audience works for magazine. Thinking about making “gated” community online for upper class people.

- When you go online you are opening yourself up to everyone. Can’t assume your offline base will be the same ppl online. People are going to come from everywhere Companies shooting themselves in the foot for not looking into cultural differences, etc.


Barb – need to also consider “power.” A site for lesbians might be the only place they have to go to feel safe. OK to have a closed community.


Tiffany – when you close a community, it becomes an echo chamber. Not seeing other perspectives. This is the danger of a private space, particularly if you are discussion political movements.


Blogher – need to be registered member to post/comment. Open policy of civil disagreement. All public to read. Transparency has been a real value. Have been thinking about a continuum. When you are addressing issue of your identity, you sometimes need to incubate and only talk to others the same. Then you gain a desire to evangelize, get out there and represent what you’ve learned. Blogher is open so you


Army guy – our policy for bloggers is just to tell them not to talk about mission specific details. Other than that, you can write about what you want. They are trying to figure out policy.


Grace Davis, blogher: Need to have clear rules of engagement to create a safe space. Safe for both sides.


DigitalDrums.net – African-influenced community. Want to discuss the term and what it means to be part of that identity. Just be open about the focus and it’s self-selecting. All are welcome to join.


Tiffany: Make others feel comfortable (people who don’t fit your core community) – they way you frame the discussion. “Blackness” means feeling like “other.” Everyone can relate to that.


Lisa: Organizations interested in working within the mainstream. How and when do we open up to the mainstream? How do we make sure the white male feels comfortable to participate?


Barb: Need balance. Safe space and openness. We all have to live in the world and interact with ppl who are not like us. Particularly when a group has a set of goals, that is a great time to open up to larger community. We’ve id’d these problems, we have these goals, can you help us?


What about having a public space and a more private version? Email list vs blog.


Tiffany: Maybe deeper, more heated discussions in exclusive space. Need politeness with public space. Don’t want anger to get in the way of your message. Angry rants lose credibility.


Ron Crose in audience. Range of exclusivity with content. Angry reaction from member of the community who didn’t want to upgrade to paid content.


Tiffany: If community member gets angry, do not respond with anger. Internet makes ppl brave. They behave in ways they wouldn’t in real life. Must realize that the person on the other end is a person. Respond back politely and this will usually calm the anger. Also learn to let things go. Some ppl enjoy being an asshole. Will continue until somebody gives up. Don’t feed the trolls.


Melinda: good and bad disagreement. Good is useful and thoughtful. Bad is someone who isn’t interested in talking about the real issues. When you blog about these things, you open yourself up to disagreement good and bad. Anger is useful in motivating change politically. Women have difficulty exposing anger in public. Men are encouraged to publicly display anger. Feminst anger – a good example is feminist rage page on livejournal. Constructive use of anger. Sister page is feminist action. Dealing with the emotional side and the constructive feminist action page. Supportive communities lead to activist communities. Can be a good thing to harness.


Lisa Stone: disengagement as an element of control in the conversation.


Liz Henry: We should not be so afraid of angry conversation. Safe space to work through anger builds community.


Nancy White: not about anger or no anger, closed or open. Need to work with community to figure out what the boundaries are. NICU community – don’t discuss abortion, etc. These ppl wouldn’t have a conversation anywhere else. Context really matters.


We all need to educate ourselves beyond our comfort zone. Important to have support spaces but also need to see what others think.


Community manager – job is to be a real human being if something bad breaks out. Need mediator. No one rule for all. Transparency and dialogue. Its human beings participating in another space.


Community guidelines are helpful.

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