Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads. Official Blog: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge
The threads of high-profile users are where some people experience the highest engagement. Lacking that level of engagement on their own posts, they see the spaces of a high-profile user as a town square.
But it’s not a town square. It’s a salon, hosted by a person. It doesn’t matter that we don’t legally own space on a social platform — each thread, ultimately, belongs to the person who created it. They have the right to ask anyone who joins in to keep the discussion on topic, or to watch their language. Perhaps more importantly, they have an obligation to the other people who have taken the time to make a thoughtful, on-topic comment. If someone runs into the discussion and begins attacking other people, or attempting to derail the discussion, as a good host, the original poster must take corrective measures.
A lot of people out there believe open is better, that we ought to let people come in and say whatever they want, that we must make our spaces a true forum. I’m not one of those people. I believe, first and foremost, in creating a safe space for my readers. That means being vigilant. It means deleting “hiiiiii” comments that serve no purpose and lead the discussion nowhere. It means kicking disruptive people out. It means interjecting when commenters are having an argument and, if resolution is impossible, providing a level of moderation that enables them to say what they think without attacking one another.
Heterophily, like tolerance, is hard and not always worthwhile. When trying to create a productive/generative group we should ask if members contribute signal rather than noise. Do they add unique insight, data or effort? Is the group better without them? Are we more or less generative without them?
Not all dimensions of diversity or difference are helpful. The fabric of a productive group is delicate and held together by a shared belief that we are all acting in good faith. This manifests itself in the little kindnesses we offer each other.
Remove that stream of kindness. Replace it with meanness. Where we had understanding for the foibles of others, install mockery. Now, where are we?
Tolerating mockery and mean-spiritedness is all it takes to dissolve the group’s fabric. Now dissent and difference and diversity are no longer seen as necessary texture but as targets to be lampooned into silence.
It always starts as ‘harmless fun.’ This is code for the invisible assertion of privilege. There’s also sometimes an element of “speaking truth to power” which cloaks the initial stages in the bravery of rebellion.
When the ‘harmless fun’ hits someone the original rebels care about it’s usually too late as this phenomenon has become self-sustaining.
The only escape is to embrace Reed’s Law and create new spaces. These spaces are safe because they have doors. These can be open or shut or locked. A shut or locked door may be protecting those inside or those outside. Either way everyone can find or create a community that fits their needs.
By organizing around topics, instead of around offline relationships, Reddit offers the possibility of introducing us to people outside our normal circles and creates a context for conversation.
We need a range of social media platforms that connect us in different ways. It’s fine to have social media that connects us with old friends, but we need tools that help us discover new people, as well. Tools that help us discover and fall in love with strangers may be the key to making sure that social media doesn’t descend into an insular echo chamber where the voices of those we already know eventually drive us mad. Reddit: A Pre-Facebook Community in a Post-Facebook World - Ethan Zuckerman - The Atlantic