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An alternative to judging contributors to a community by their track record (of posting, say) is to use attributes of some kind. If this works, then the burden of 'knowing' a new face poster is lifted from memory, and transferred to the process of converting attributes to authority.

This is rather abstract, perhaps, but it can be seen at work in the SenseisLibrary go wiki. Contributors tend to mention their rank on their home page. Whether they should do that while posting elsewhere on the site was for a while somewhat contentious - see SenseisLibrary:MentioningGradesOrNot - but that settled down after the early days. This touches on many issues, particularly since no assumption is made of 'professionalism'. The day when the site is full of contributions from those who actually earn a living playing go will be a happy one, but it is a long way off. I think this is probably rather different from, for example, a community with a common interest in a software topic.

A Usenet discussion group typically might exhibit a stratification into around three levels: newbies, those who have familiarity with FAQ-level material, and experts on at least some topics. A feature of SenseisLibrary is that those who post are spread out over something like 30 levels, as measured by their go rank (SenseisLibrary:Rank). What is more, in most cases dialogues show a background consciousness of this. The keywords for the site include categories Beginner/Advanced/Dan level that correspond reasonably well with the newbie/FAQ/expert division just mentioned.

Those familiar with the ethos of go will understand that this very hierarchical view of what goes on is rooted in the ongoing traditions of the game itself. Not in any sense a cheap solution; and the whole business of treating rank as an indicator of authority is forever causing debate as go moves into the Western world.

The bottom line is though that the community has scaled quite well, so far. -- CharlesMatthews

Compare ClassStriation which stratifies on both money and culture.

An alternative to judging contributors to a community by their track record (of posting, say) is to use attributes of some kind.

The choice of which attributes to use and the rating of various individuals could be accomplished in a decentralized/modular fashion through RatingGroups applied to individuals. -- BayleShanks

Maybe the difference this pattern espouses is simply that a StratifiedCommunity separates based on a quantifiable dimension rather than a qualitative one like popularity.


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