Friday, May 18, 2007

Troll Management 101

From Information Week (via howardowens) comes this gem of an essay by author and activist Cory Doctorow about how to understand and even manage the complex social landscape of an online community. I've never seen this explained or said better. You need to know this stuff.

A taste:

Teresa is a troll-whisperer. For some reason, she can spot irredeemable trolls and separate them from the merely unsocialized. She can keep discussions calm and moving forward. She knows when deleting a troll's message will discourage him, and when it will only spark a game of whack-a-mole.

Teresa calls it "having an ear for text" and she is full of maddeningly unquantifiable tips for spotting the right rod to twiddle to keep the reactor firing happily without sparking a meltdown.

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