Notes from Baychi

Christopher Allen rocked the house tonight with many vital insights on group size. But don’t beleive me, do

Christopher Allen rocked the house tonight with many vital insights on group size. But don’t beleive me, do
Life With Alacarity

Optimum group size is 150
applies to groups who have strong desire to hang together, such as for survival
armies, terrorist, mafia
40% of time spent to stay cohesive.
Doesn’t apply to modern groups, because too much time spent in “social grooming”

Unstructured trust – intuitive and natural trust all humans share.
• Signs of nontrust in cities—no speaking, no eyecontact, protective of personal space.
• Familiar stranger (good work in berekley on this) ppl you know around the neighborhood. The higher % of familiar strangers, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
• Conversations for discovery. Get to know eachother, become an acquaintance. More comfortable, more eyecontact, always greet eachother.
• Casual friends—occasionally touch each other. Allow them in our personal space. Meet each other’s friends—become a band. Book clubs, dinners, etc. everyone can talk, decisions get made. (8ish)
• The crowd—the beginnings of hierarchy. Someone more senior will step up, group will break into smaller groups or everyone will be unhappy. (20ish)
• The mob—at this point, rules are needed. (50+?)

What are the group numbers in modern day, non-survival groups.
Ultima Online group sized.
• Almost no guilds that exceed 150
• More guilds are around 60
• From world of warcraft—groups of 14 ppl, 6 ppl often interacted in the same time, in same place. Groups that hit 150, it becomes noisy, hard to manage. Cohesiveness becomes more difficult at higher number
• Two nodal sizes—5 to 9 peoples, or 25-80 active members are most satisfied. 15 is a major valley of dissatisfaction, as is 150. (and 1-3)

Groups size
• Too few
o Insufficient critical mass
o Feels alone
o Lack fo communication
o Group think/echo chamber
• Too many
o Signal to noise
o Lack fo trust
o Cliques and bad gossip – inappropriate politics
o Other social contract problems
 Flames
 Trolls
 Tradegdy of the commons

The flame
• How they start
o Text is missing emotional content
o We over-interpret
o We reply at similar intensity (emotional contagion)
o Thus the “cycle of flames”
o Irony  sarcasm  insult  flames
• Cooling flames
o Avoid emotional words (should, couldn’t, forgot)
o Avoid sarcasm and irony
o When necessary, use smileys to avoid confusion
o Don’t escalate
o Educate

Small groups (2-12 active, best for 4-9 active)
• Chat rooms
• Teleconference w/backchannel
• Cooperative editor
• Discussion list – flat
• Blogs – shared only to private
• Blogs—group authored

Medium groups
• (13-150 active, best for 25-80 active)
• instant message
• avatar chat
• discussion list – threaded
• wiki – single workspace

big groups (150+ active)
• discussion list – reputation filtered (i.e. Slashdot)
• wikis with multiple workspaces
• blog – public (often hubs of larger groups, control belongs ot author—blgoroll)
• social network (myspace, etc)

reputation systems in small groups – the making public of reputation is uncomfortable.

Feeding each other- Helped small group

Wikipedia tends to be run by unstructured small groups

How to engender trust—photos, eyecontact (how? Video?) the intimacy gradient (from architecture) (the curtain causes bowing in Japanese restaraunts, creates intimacy) online intimacy gradients? Places to be casual.

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