Remember Ricky Nelson's great song, Garden Party?

"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself
"

You may not. Ricky was the precursor of the whole "rock star" thing. With more than 50 Top 100 hits, Nelson was second only to Elvis Presley as the most popular rock and roll artist of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Today, he's nearly forgotten.

You might have noticed the modest dustup following Digging v1.24, the one about relative traffic rankings. People postured, pontificated and pronounced. Bottom line? Lots of critics but no hard factual alternatives. Lots of smoke, very little fire.

This is what community is about sometimes. The game of "I'm outraged by your outrage" tag is fun to watch and miserable to be the object of. In lots of cases of swift boating, the whole object is character assasssination. In the muddle of "I'm ok and you're not'", online denizens beat the crap out of each other self-righteously.

If I could have anything I wanted on RecruitingBlogs.com, it would be more rumbles (not more Borborygmus, more street fights). I love the West Side Story feel of a good gang fight and think that reenacting them online gives the place a real urban sensibilityl. Now that many of us have a little time on our hands, it's good preparation for the coming apocalypse in which we ride spiked motorcycles and have sword fights in a hellish place.

Well, maybe not. There's a kind of online communication that generates no benefit but takes enormous personal bandwidth. I don't like it much...grumpy self-righteousness about things that don't matter isn't my sport. I'm actually a little closer to the posturing without performing group who pounced on those traffic pronouncements.

The point is that building community takes great energy and great tolerance. Living together when we annoy the crap out of each other is where the challenge and opportunity lie. It's easy to get along with the folks who eat the same dogfood you do. It's hard to accept the people who enjoy pointing out that it actually is dogfood. It's harder still when they don't admit that what they eat is just a different brand.

The place is blossoming. You can tell a real community because it contains some people you don't like very much and you still hang out there.

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I love a good rumble too John and agree that it's one of the things that makes community so interesting. It's spatter-messy and delicious and is one of the ingredients (broken eggs) to a great confection! We all have things to learn.

“When we see men of worth, we should equal them; when we see men of contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.” ~ Confucius
Maureen, that's perfect.

The bigger and more successful our community becomes, the higher the odds that we'll encounter contrariness personally. Accepting it as necessary and figuring out how to profit from it are essential elements of the stew.
Reading John thoughts is like listening to a symphony... for me anyway. My favorite part of this piece? That's easy: Quote:

"The point is that building community takes great energy and great tolerance. Living together when we annoy the crap out of each other is where the challenge and opportunity lie. It's easy to get along with the folks who eat the same dogfood you do. It's hard to accept the people who enjoy pointing out that it actually is dogfood. It's harder still when they don't admit that what they eat is just a different brand."

Good stuff, John. Thanks. - Jim
Just like holidays with family, you go even though it won't all be pleasant....and then there's always that fruitcake.
As Mother used to say: "There's no warmth without friction."
And hence now we have Ami...

Amitai Givertz said:
As Mother used to say: "There's no warmth without friction."
All budding online communities have an organic growth period during which the their essences are defined much like theories of the Universe. Of course, it was Einstein who said, "For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained - and that's our present universe.” So every community exists on a very fine edge.

The challenge is to make sure that the balance is in favor of survival which requires an extraordinary amount of communication and ongoing iterative planning. John, we both know several communities whose balance was thrown off by an unexpected human comet.

While I'm having too much fun here, I'm still looking for these potentially dangerous extra-recruit-terrestrial entities. Eyes wide open...
Steve, it wasn't my Mother.

Steve Levy said:
And hence now we have Ami...

Amitai Givertz said:
As Mother used to say: "There's no warmth without friction."
I just knew it - you had Immaculate Acquisition written all over you...

Amitai Givertz said:
Steve, it wasn't my Mother.

Steve Levy said:
And hence now we have Ami...

Amitai Givertz said:
As Mother used to say: "There's no warmth without friction."
John, as always, I agree with much of your sentiments here. As far as your pointing back to my comment on the statistics you posted, I appreciate it :) My point was simply stating that you were describing a bubble, which is ironic given our recent real estate 'popping' coupled with our recent financial crisis. I wouldn't necessarily call this 'posturing' (some might say that suggesting someone 'posturing' is, in itself, a form of 'posturing'), but the point is that all that matters is how we you receive opinions different than our own. I see value in RBC by my own personal interactions in the community moreso than pure quantifiable growth of new members (as I am solely a member myself; a member that like others, aims to maximize utility). At the same time, I am educated enough to question statistical dog food. I've studied and listened to lectures by people much smarter than myself, whereby I learned that statistics can be misleading and that meteoric growth cannot happen perpetually - there is an inflection point. I also lost a good deal of money I saved in the Service as Cisco's stock tumbled from $75+ to $40 from 10/00 to 9/01 (before 9/11 wiped my gains out further). Perhaps the conclusion is that you and I eat different dog food in the way that we capture, view, research, analyze, and accept statistical data.

There is one element that interests me here, however: " . . . grumpy self-righteousness about things that don't matter isn't my sport." IMHO, what "matters" and "doesn't matter" is largely a personal issue. Take for example the "Is Headhunting Ethical" conversation that generated so much traffic here on RBC - it looks as if about 50 different people chimed in. Anytime there is a discussion on ethics (from someone who furthermore interjects religion into the question), of course there is going to be self-righteousness. That's not just RBC - that's life. Personally, I think discussions on ethics and religion can often get out of control, but I respect that these are deep personal issues for many. In the Marines, I spent time in Kosovo and I can assure you that a heated discussion here at RBC is nothing like ethnic cleansing. During your trip to India, I imagine you also witnessed the caste system and social inequalities endorsed by the Hindi faithful.

For the record, let me publicly apologize if you took issue with my analysis of the conclusions you derived from your own evaluation of statistical data. I am evolved enough to know that you and I may look at numbers, data, politics, religion, and even life itself differently, but in the end, I value your opinions and thoughts.
Levy's comment, 'And hence now we have Ami...' is hysterical

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