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The problem
You are new to the OnlineWorld and want to become part of the OnlineCommunity.

The solution
Go by CAR: be constructive, be authentic and breathe reciprocity.

The context
Everything seems easy for those that are already part of the OnlineCommunity. But most newbies have problems. The netiquette often doesn't help because it only tells what to do and not why to do it.


Be constructive. The OnlineWorld is like a new continent, a land of pioneers. Its hard to build a new world and there are many obstacles. It is much easier to destroy systems, community or culture than to build them. Only things built may survive and only builders count. So give a helping hand to those that are building, even if you don't understand and don't like everything you see. After a while the OnlineCommunity will accept you and help you when it's your turn. Live with existing rules for the moment, you may challenge them after a while.

Be authentic. Even if you aren't strong, no expert of any kind, you can easily become a part of the OnlineCommunity. Your background and your questions, even the things you don't know, don't see and don't understand may be interesting feedback to others. But the most valuable gift is your real personality and identity. Say what you feel or think and walk your talk. Its like a golden card that gives lots of credit. Don't be shy. Trust the community and they will trust and defend you. Your personal history of communication and cooperation is your foundation in the OnlineWorld.

Breathe reciprocity. The OnlineWorld is a world of synergy. To give your knowledge is not tiresome, it may take only 5 minutes. To others this knowledge is valuable, saving hours of searching and struggling to understand. So there is a win-factor of 10-50. If you can get answers to your questions in turn, there are only winners (and there is still headroom for fun). But the system only works if all value cooperation. So follow the bible and make "give" and "you will be given" true online [1] [2]. Don't give to those that don't give [3] [4]. Know the people in the OnlineCommunity and help those that deserve it.

Why the directive to "don't give to those that don't give"? Is there any evil that could result from that, besides a waste of time on the givers' part? If not, perhaps it should be stated as such. I feel that having that sentence at all is possibly contradicting AssumeGoodFaith. -- BayleShanks

The sentence you quote contains an important and - I think - valid idea, but the wording should be improved. In a way there is always a transfer from authors to reader, a transfer that might be misunderstood as a "give and don't give". But first and most important, TheAudience gives his time and attention and this is a major source of energy in building online communities. Without knowing and showing that this audience is there, very little could be accomplished. Second, any synergetic (social) "give and take" is asymmetrical in nature, so someone must always get any social interaction going by a gift (a smile, a contribution, by founding a wiki, a TIT waiting for a TAT), so there is nothing wrong with it too. *But* anyone has to understand that authors and founder can only put a limited amount of energy into the systems for others to take advantage (a kind of social or symbolic funding). If this funding is just used up and not given back and reproduced, the systems will fade. To reproduce and increase this "synergetic funding" [WhatIsSynergy] we need a "give back culture". If someone has an advantage from an online community, he should feel obliged to give something back. If someone shows that he understands and acts accordingly, we welcome him as a part of the online culture - he can get any support and help, because we know he won't forget, and our energy will not be lost. A ProtoCommunity that groks that will prosper, while others will fail. I think that's what wiki is all about and that's why I call it a social and not a technical system. Wiki is a technology impregnated with social values. If we want communities to prosper we have to oppose to anyone who is "just taking", at least tell him that he is wrong and why. -- HelmutLeitner


The OnlineCommunity is a power-source for those able to find the plug.
HelmutLeitner, MeatBall:GoByCar, Feb 6 2002


Wiki is a superior tool for OnlineCommunity because:

Move to ConstructiveAuthenticReciprocal? or ExchangeValue?

We could check later with you or the CommunityWiki:AcademieWikiInEnglish if RéciprocitéAuthentiqueEtConstructive? is the right title... But let's say for the moment, I'll drop it on AllerEnCar (in french the car is a bus, more comfortable. Could make sense with the TourBus !) -- ChristopheDucamp

Similar idea: [InsurgenceEmergenceConvergence]


Deutch version - http://www.wikiservice.at/dse/wiki.cgi?GoByCar


CategoryWikiPatternLanguage

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