[MUD-Dev] Re: Bruce Sterling on Virtual Community goals

Jon Leonard jleonard at divcom.slimy.com
Thu Oct 15 19:14:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Thu, Oct 15, 1998 at 11:24:42AM -0700, J C Lawrence wrote:
> He has a point, not only in comparison to MUD-Dev itself (MUD-Dev is
> a MUD!  No its not!), but to our more standard fare of MUDs:
>   http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/15611.html

[Bruce Sterling's comments about virtual communities being an oxymoron,
and how peer review might help]

This reminds me of Eric S. Raymond's "Homesteading the Noosphere"
http://www.earthspace.net/esr/writings/homesteading/, which discusses
status among open source software developers, and how it relates to
getting software developed.  (The prequel paper is also well worth
looking at: http://www.earthspace.net/esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/)

There's some similarities to the peer review and footnotes of academia,
but important differences as well.

In any case, I don't think trying to implement a peer-review system is
the right thing to do for either MUDs or mailing lists.  There are better
mechanisms for improving the quality of content, like the MUD-Dev list
owner occasionally reminding us what's on topic.  Mailing list messages
are just too close to real time for the delay of ratings or moderation
to work universally, and MUDS fit better into a software development
model than an academic model.

Still, these sorts of requests for change are'nt something to worry about.
If there's a better model, people will use it, while bad experiments will
fail by not attracting users.

Jon Leonard

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list