For several years I have studied and participated in online communities. Without doubt they make the web fun. However, I have also noticed that the most interesting people run these websites. It’s like there is this inner circle of moderators/gestapo who are the most antisocial beings on the planet. It seems that certain social communities deliberately recruit people who have ogre DNA.
If it sounds like I am a little bitter it is because I am. For the last several years I have been an active member of the webmaster forum, Digital Point. A few days ago I was banned from the forum due to a stupid mistake on my part. Now, a lot of my freelance work depends on this forum, so, I tried to see if I could somehow talk to someone about my wrongdoing. However, every time I typed in the site I received the following screen:
Failing to contact anyone using this method I resorted to asking a friend to communicate to the moderators. Gratefully, the friend was finally able to connect with someone but the experience was less than enjoyable. I will save you the grumbling details of my communications. I will just say that the outcome was far from satisfactory.
However, the whole experience started a dialogue between my friend and I. Since she was the middle person she was a witness to the arrogance and rudeness of the moderators. We both recognized from this experience that sometimes the inner ruling circle of some web communities have become more about showing their power than being a part of the community.
All this being said, I figured I would do a list on the top 5 worst (or best, depending how you look at it) antisocial social websites. I welcome any additions to this list. However, I do believe that these five take the cake.
Beginning from the Best of the Worst, to the Worst of the Worst.
5. eBay – Some of you might debate this submission, since ebay is an auction site. Yet, you cannot convince me that it is not a thriving community—along with its own social norms, values, and heavy-handed polices. With all of eBay’s lengthy policies and enforcing muscle behind those policies, it seems that Meg Whitman, previous CEO of ebay, was destined to be a politician.
4. Digital Point – As much as I wanted to put DP as #1 on this list I knew I would be lying to myself if I did. I am frustrated with the digital police but I do recognize that it could be a lot worse. However, my advise to you is don’t for a moment try to create a second account. Even if you are trying to separate out your design work from your seo work. If you do, plan on never seeing the green lights of digital point again.
3. Slashdot – I would not be surprised if slashdot was the first antisocial community on the web. When I first encountered slashdot I seriously envisioned the moderators using Altair 8800 computers as they continued to tell me that the news I felt was newsworthy was not.
2. Digg – If digg is not the #1 antisocial community it is a very, very close second. Mainly because most of the digg community feels it’s their right and duty to police all the newbies. Digg also is a classic example of mob rule. Who can forget the HD-DVD Processing Key incident that brought Kevin Rose, the creator, to his knees.
1. Wikipedia – How can you not be the number one antisocial social site with statements like this, “We aren’t democratic. Our readers edit the entries, but we’re actually quite snobby. The core community appreciates when someone is knowledgeable, and thinks some people are idiots and shouldn’t be writing.” This is what Jimmy Wales stated to the New York Times when asked what he felt people’s greatest misconception was about his social site.
credit: Newspapergirl’s post today had the sentence, “Antisocials running social sites,” which spawned this post’s title.
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