My little rant about why it is so bad if an online community is closed

9 Apr

I wrote this little rant on TWiT Army Canteen. It is nothing new, just something to get out of my system after a recent bad experience with a closed community. I’ve edited the text a little bit compared to the series of 140-character long micro-blogging messages (called mu’s) I originally wrote my rant in.

I don’t mention the name of this closed community, because I don’t want lower myself to throwing mud and dissing people. I’m also not full of grudge, certainly not after I’ve put my thoughts in a blog post and don’t have to think about it anymore. If people are happy in their closed little world, let them be happy. I just don’t want to be part of that world. I’d rather be on the World Wide Web, where ideas roam freely and I can learn new things, even while hitting myself on the forehead now and then, because I made another stupid mistake in how I worded my sentences.

Although it may not seem like it to some and some of the times, I always try to be sincere and honest, and to respect other human beings. My idea is that I will be get the same in return, most of the times. At least, I learn to sharpen my social skills when communication goes awry and personalities do collide. Anything that doesn’t kill me can only make me better.

After this pre-rant, here’s the rant I was referring to…

I think there is value in having an open community, as opposed to a closed (hidden) community, even outweighing negatives of pesky spambots. The few closed online communities I’ve been part of were all kind of xenophobic and close-minded, dissing new users with new ideas as a rite of passage.

The idea behind a decision to keep a community closed is often to gather the elite, but those hardly are attracted to those communities. After some time, your closed community tends to fill up with socially inept people, who can’t deal with the realities of life in the open.

You really need an influx of new people and new ideas, keeping your community fresh and alive. The regulars should never become all-powerful.That is why your community should be open and the procedure to join should be almost invisible and instantaneous.

I know I’m a regular in this community [TWiT Army Canteen], and that I should try to stay as open and receptive to change as new users often are.

Rant over.

2 Responses to “My little rant about why it is so bad if an online community is closed”

  1. Richard April 9, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Have you ever considered that perhaps, rather than people being closed to your ‘new’ ideas, your ideas weren’t very good?

    I think you might be being a little egotistical.

  2. Rene April 9, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    That could be. I’m a human being, full of flawed ideas about the world. I’m still working on myself, version 2.0.

    I also have a somewhat perverted sense of humor, not everyone appreciates. Always have, and something that seems to be hard to change, if it’s even possible to chance.

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