Latest incarnation: http://www.aquameta.com/gf (a CommunityWeblog?)
InternetTopicExchange group-forming channel: http://topicexchange.com/t/group_forming/
Although we already see social clustering happening in certain areas, it is still difficult to create high-signal, lively groups around issues that are not (yet?) very popular or well known. We need to better understand how the process of clustering happens, in order to figure out how we can make it easier and more efficient.
People and their interactions are obviously at the center of this process. Thinking about social clustering will require us to consider individuals, motivations, and communication.
Observation and reflection are not the only means to probe this issue. We also want to try things out, experiment hands-on with new means of clustering. This way we will learn what helps people pull together and what doesn't.
This mailing list was created to foster discussion both at the practical and theoretical level on such questions as:
SebPaquet proposed a possible [way of enabling easy group-forming] around topics within the community of webloggers. This community is large enough now that there are almost certainly many people who care about the same things and have not found each other. Easy group-forming for bloggers could help in that respect.
PhillipPearson expressed interest and created WcsWiki:RidiculouslyEasyGroupForming to flesh out the idea and discuss the technical aspects. In January 2003 he introduced the InternetTopicExchange, which is the first implementation of the idea. Perhaps inevitably, this led to the [Topic Exchange group-forming channel].
EricHanson proposed that we start a mailing list at his domain, http://aquameta.com. George Lewis of pegasi.net kindly offered to set up and host the list.