Oredev 2011: Building Social Software for the Anti-Social Part II, Electric Boogaloo


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Part II of the original "Social Software for the Anti-Social" presentation, with five more SCARY RULES!

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  • Five scary ideas!
  • Five MORE scary ideas!
  • Programmers are MARRIED to their rules. It is what makes them who they are.
  • Nobody expects to sit down and immediately start playing Magic without learning the rules.
  • Settlers of catan, the game is a structure over which we hang social interaction. So now social interactions have rules.
  • Rejecting the rules means you either don’t want to play or need to play another game.
  • Gamification: The use of game play mechanics for non-game applications
  • Student badge for getting your question voted upYou might visit the faq; there’s a badge for viewing all the sections of the faqYou complete your user profile; that’s the autobiographer badgeYour question gets 1,000 views; that’s a popular question badge
  • You learn the game by PLAYING THE GAME.
  • Training wheels to get you started, then the training wheels come off. As you get reputation on Stack Exchange, you can start to do more things, and more dangerous things.
  • It’s the type of game that builds a path in the world.
  • I’m here because I love bicycles and I wish there was better information on the internet for other people that love Bicycles.
  • We can’t take it away from you. You licence your content to us and the rest of the internet.
  • What do you do while you’re dead?
  • Shortcut of playing only with people you know and friends.
  • From parenting, to photography, to mathematics.
  • You can be hardcore, you can play occasionally, or you can observe the game. Everyone benefits from the game being played and this high quality, expert Q&A existing.Question asked once, Answered 5 times, Viewed thousands of times.
  • The first and most primary rule of the Stack Exchange game. And yet, it gets questioned.
  • If you don’t like them, don’t look at them. Two problems with that: broken windows, opportunity cost.
  • If you don’t like them, don’t look at them. Two problems with that: broken windows, opportunity cost.
  • Teaching the game just in time.
  • You’re not a bad person for wanting to ask this discussion question, but you are IN THE WRONG PLACE.
  • Moderation is fundamental. You can’t sustain communities without active moderator leadership.
  • Not intuitive – to have a successful website, you need the most POPULAR items, right?
  • Hugely popular but ultimately distractions from LEARNING.
  • http://scobleizer.com/2009/11/02/the-chat-roomforum-problem-an-apology-to-technosailor/
  • Why do you come to the battlefield 3 reddit? What are you there for? These things were popular but they were ultimately destroying the site! Weeds choking out the edible plants in the garden.
  • On things they THINK they want, they will fight you to the death for the right to keep doing this destructive stuff
  • Go on Meta and make yourself heard.
  • Oredev 2011: Building Social Software for the Anti-Social Part II, Electric Boogaloo

    1. Building Social Software for the Anti-Social Jeff Atwood stackexchange.com
    2. 1. Radically lower the bar for participation2. Trusting (some of) your users3. Life is the world’s biggest MMORPG4. Bad stuff happens5. Love trumps money
    3. Building Social Software for the Anti-Social Part II Jeff Atwood stackexchange.com
    4. Q:How do you tell an introvertedcomputer programmer from anextroverted computerprogrammer?
    5. A:An extroverted computerprogrammer looks at your shoeswhen he talks to you.
    6. Q:What do Computer Sciencestudents use for birth control?
    7. A:Their personalities.
    8. “But themeek shallinherit the earth …”
    9. Computers are simple.People are complicated.Introverts are writing software tocontrol both. How can this possiblywork?
    10. Programmers move beyond merely playing the game They create and design games. Very, very complicated games.
    11. Social interactions are scary becauseTHEY HAVE NORULES
    12. Can you definerules for socialinteractions?Maybe.
    13. … or maybe not.
    14. But…why aresocialinteractionsparticularlyscary for anintrovertdeveloper?
    15. All teachers of programming find thattheir results display a double hump. Itis as if there are two populations:those who can, and those whocannot, each with its ownindependent bell curve.
    16. “To write a computer program youhave to … accept that whatever youmight want the program to mean, themachine will blindly follow itsmeaningless rules and come to somemeaningless conclusion.”
    17. “The consistent group showed a pre-acceptance of this fact: they arecapable of seeing mathematicalcalculation problems in terms ofrules, and can follow those ruleswheresoever they may lead.”
    18. Facebook is exactly that: mapping rulesto social relationships between people.Taking what had been scary andunknown, and adding rules andstructure.
    19. Scary Idea #6Rules can be fun and social.Everyone loves games, and allgames are built on rules. Guesswhat programmers are REALLYgood at?
    20. Tragic: The Garnering, from Fallout
    21. To play the game, you must accept therules.The rules exist to protect the integrityof the game, and more importantly, tokeep it fair for every player.The rules are part of the commongood.
    22. But … what’s the goal of this game?What is its purpose?
    23. Scary Idea #7All modern website design isgame design.Everything’s social, therefore,everything is now a game withrules.
    24. Let’s play the Q&A game. You have a… question. A specific question thatcan be answered (see rules).How do you get an answer to yourquestion?First you must figure out how to ask.
    25. What is this number and how do I get it to go up?
    26. What is this number and how do I get it to go up?
    27. What is this number and how do I get it to go up?
    28. “Stack Exchange is like a well-designedvideo game. When was the last timeyou had to read the documentation toplay a video game? You dont.”– Robert CartainoDirector of Community DevelopmentStack Exchange
    29. You start by walking across the room.Then you learn to pick something up;and then jump. By time you needto, youre already strafing across acatwalk, jumping and spinning 360-degrees while simultaneously firing abeam rifle and throwing two plasmagrenades through a window 40 feetaway.
    30. When you get up from the couch aftera Halo or World of Warcraftsession, what do you have to show foryour efforts?
    31. Whereas on Stack Exchange, you leavebreadcrumb trails of yourawesomeness for others to learn fromand improve on.
    32. Game: get an answer to yourquestion, by any means necessary.Metagame:reputation, badges, privileges, peerrecognition.Endgame: improve the internet foreveryone.
    33. The game works in service of bothselfish (I need an answer!) and selfless(I need a better internet!) goals.We’re creating an oasis of highquality, expert Q&A on the internetthat can serve as a national park ofinformation: a public resource for all toenjoy and benefit from.
    34. Scary Idea #8Thoughtful game design createssustainable communities.Government is a form of gamedesign.
    35. “It is an invariable principle of all play …that whoever plays, plays freely.Whoever must play cannot play.”Everything else is by definition Work witha big W.
    36. The game never ends.Actions in the game have consequencesand history.People will remember how you behavedin previous rounds.
    37. Permanent death. How can that be fun?This is a horribly flawed game design!
    38. 1. You cannot win alone.2. Individual skill, however great, isalways inferior to teamwork.3. Rash decisions are risky;patience and planning pays off.
    39. The design of the game forces you to play as a team. Whether you want to or not!
    40. The rules make the game work,even with completely anonymous internet players. Brilliant.“All my teammates are my friends”
    41. It’s an infinite game.Any time, with anyone. Counter-Strike 54k players / day
    42. Stack Exchange is myCounter-Strike
    43. 1. You cannot win without teaching.2. Individual skill, however great, isalways inferior to communication skill.3. Discussion is risky; sharing researchand experience pays off.
    44. Teamwork: Advance knowledge of a topic. For everyone in the world wholoves that topic as much as you do.
    45. Scary Idea #9The community isn’t alwaysright.Groups aren’t good at predictingthe consequences of theircollective actions.
    46. 1. You should only askpractical, answerable questionsbased on actual problems that youface.Why can’t we have discussions?
    47. What’s your favorite bicycle?I use spatulas to turn eggs, what do you use?Bing is doomed. I’m curious if others feel as Ido.What if Canon merged with Nikon?COBOL sucks, am I right?
    48. Chatty, open-ended questionsdiminish the usefulness of our siteand push other practical questionsoff the front page.If you don’t like thesequestions, don’t look at them!
    49. “Don’t look” doesn’t work in reallife, either.Broken windows: others will see, anduse what they see as templates forfuture questions.Opportunity cost: time spent ondiscussion is time that should havegone toward sharing actual research.
    50. Protip: answer the damn question.What research and evidence can youprovide to support your answer?
    51. Oh yeah? Prove it.
    52. Your questions should bereasonably scoped. If you canimagine an entire book thatanswers your question, you’reasking too much.Why can’t we ask broad questions?
    53. Q: First let me inform you: I am new to this type ofenterprise and in a sense I am looking for all the help thatI can get so that I will have a general idea where to start. Ihave a drawn out plan for the workings of an electroniccommunication application. Its not that complicated interms of its usage and function. The impass that I am athas to do with me not knowing how to create thisapplication because of my lack and understanding "howto write a program" using programming language. I havedone my homework (undercover market research) andfound that ten out of nine individuals would purchase thisproduct if it were available. My second impass is that myfunds are at an all time low. So any information woild bemost appreciated. Thank You.
    54. A: Begin by reading a book or two.Come back when you have specifics.
    55. 2. What research, if any, did youdo before asking?What have you tried? Whathappened when you tried that?How did you attempt to solve theproblem?You gotta do your homework.
    56. It is unfair to ask others to do allthe work.If you want to play the game, meetus halfway.Nobody should be moremotivated to find an answer toyour question than YOU.
    57. “But this is such a greatresource, why can’t I ask just thisone question the way I want to?”Did it ever occur to you that thesite is a great resource preciselybecause we disallow discussionsand drive-by no effort questions?
    58. There are many kinds of games onthe internet. We designed ours acertain way to achieve a certainresult.Perhaps you want to play adifferent game somewhere else onthe internet?
    59. “Innovation is not about saying yesto everything. Its about saying NOto all but the most crucialfeatures.”– Steve Jobs
    60. Can you say NO to your users?(in a nice, educational way ofcourse.)If not, then you have a problem.
    61. Scary Idea #10Some moderation required.Someone has to protect thecommunity from itself. Why can’tit be you?
    62. The curse of popularity, akaBikeshedding.The more general interest yourquestion is, the more people cansee it and answer it – with theirunique individual opinions.
    63. “What is your solution to the FizzBuzz problem?”“Best Keyboard for programmers?”“What are some funny loading statements tokeep users amused?”“What easter eggs have you placed in code?”“What single discovery has given you the biggestboost in productivity?”
    64. If a question can have infiniteanswers …… is it really a question?… or is it something else entirely?
    65. “Over on FriendFeed people aretelling me ‘we have moreconversations.’ That’s true, but themore conversations I got involvedin the less I found I was learning.”-- Robert Scoble
    66. “How can you close / delete thisquestion, it is hugely popular withthe community!”Popularity isn’t the only metric thatmatters.
    67. “ever since the Open Beta the amount ofimage macros, memes, rage comics andgenerally low-quality content hitting thefront page has grown to annoyingproportions.”
    68. “The problem with image macros and rage comics(besides generally lacking wit or anythinggenuinely insightful) is that theyre quick and easyto digest, and thus tend to get upvoted fasterthan self posts and actual discussions which takethought and time before an appropriate responsecan meted out. If youre not careful you end upwith something akin to /r/gaming, which is now aburbling, deformed wreck of its former self, withanything remotely resembling intelligentdiscussion being buried under a sea of vacuousmeme-repetition.”
    69. “This only way this is EVER stopped on reddit is throughmod intervention, rule sets, and careful removal ofcontent. So along with this post, please directly contactthe mods and hope that they will act to save theirsubreddit.”
    70. The goal of moderation is not to punish thecommunity, but to• Temporarily overrule• Educate• Refocus community exuberance on more substantive content... in other words, to lead.
    71. Our biggest mistake: not building ameta from day one.“The place about the place” iswhere all governance forms andmoderators are born.
    72. Moderation requires power, the powerto (sometimes) defy the community tolead it.Moderation has to scale in proportionto the size of your community.Therefore, you must give power toregular users: mini-moderators.
    73. It’s a Democracy: moderators areelected by the community.
    74. But elected communitymoderators are not infallible.If you have an issue withmoderation, bring it up on themeta. Citizens have input intogovernment and the design ofStack Exchange itself.
    75. 6. Rules can be fun and social.7. All modern website design is game design.8. Thoughtful game design creates sustainable communities.9. The community isn’t always right.10. Some moderation required.
    76. JOIN US! Help build our park.http://stackexchange.com