Robert Scoble
Mobs will now be a fact of life. Here are the two choices we all must make online: -
Mobs will now be a fact of life. Here are the two choices we all must make online:
Hurt. Or help. A mob that is helping is a good thing. I am donating $100 to #blamedrewscancer. That is good. What about if 1,000 did that? But some just want to hurt. They call names. Say people have zero value, or worse. I am sorry I have been part of mobs that do that. It is easy to become part of a cheering mob against other people. Too easy maybe, but I would rather have free speech than not. Go ahead and say I have zero value or that I, or my friends, are douchebags or should be dead. I will defend your right to say that. But we all do have a choice: are we hurting or helping other people? I do find that lately I haven't been on the right side of that choice. How about you? - Robert Scoble
I'm gonna call you a name right now Robert. Cool. - Tyler Gillies from email
So it sums down to with great power comes great responsibility. - Usman Bashir
It's easy to be in a mob doing good, just think of the actions of the mob from someone not in it. Trouble is, it's easier to be in a mob doing bad because it is easier not to think. - ɹןʇnqן
Drew: what is the best use of the $100? #blamedrewscancer - Robert Scoble
We used to call these Groundswells - why the "mob" mentality all of the sudden? - Jesse Stay
I like the concept but I think you should choose a different name for a group doing positive work. Mob has negative connotations and dilutes the good message. - Martha
Jesse: words that have fewer characters are better for Twitter. - Robert Scoble
Robert, I think the word "mob" brings more traffic :-) - Jesse Stay
Very good point, Jesse. Hit 'em with the sensational headline! - Martha
Jesse: yes. Pageviews rule our language. - Robert Scoble
I'm donating $25/mo to the American Cancer Society on behalf of #blamedrewscancer btw - I think it's a simple, cheap cause to participate in. (and so many of us are affected!) - Jesse Stay
I called out some people who do mostly hurt other people online. - Robert Scoble
I wonder if they will join the helpful movement? - Robert Scoble
Hey Robert - (not for my benefit), you should see if Rackspace can offer a discount per month on those that set up monthly payments to American Cancer Society on behalf of #blamedrewscancer. Might be a great way to evangelize your brand and help out a good cause at the same time. - Jesse Stay
@dahowlett's comment is ridiculous - so I have to stick to Twitter to not be beaten up by the much larger mob? What is this - mob wars? The Twitter mob vs. the FriendFeed mob? Silly us - we're in the wrong mob! - Jesse Stay
Jesse: dahowlett earlier said I have zero value. Really hurtful. - Robert Scoble
Social networking is about building communities. A mob is just a community without responsible leadership. Keeping a community from becoming a mob requires leadership. Without that, anything can happen. - Jack&Cleo
mobs have always been a fact of life - through thousands of years of history. using mob mentality to do good is interesting; and beneficial. but is it a good idea? here's another idea. don't just try to use mobs for good, try to leave mobs that are bad. starve out mob mentality. mobs don't start as a group - they start as an individual. someone who usually understands mobs; how they work; how they grow; how they feed; and respond. most of us know a mob-starter when we see them. are we prepared to stop helping them? stop allowing them to breed their mobs? are we prepared to let mob-starters wither away alone? do friends let friends act like mob starters? this is an age old question. and the answers; the challenges; the solutions are the same. - MikeAmundsen
has all this come from the fact that Arringtons feelings were hurt the other week when everyone bashed him on FF and loved up to Leo ? - Mark
I would rather not make this thread about Arrington. There are others who say FriendFeed isn't a helpful community. - Robert Scoble
Please define 'mob.' Do you mean a violent, riotous leaderless group? "the mob overturned cars and smashed storefronts" Or a massive celebration of an exciting event? "the streets were filled with mobs of joyous supporters chanting 'Yes, we did!' as the final election results poured in" - Andrew Feinberg
Ah, well Loren and Dennis answered on twitter - Mark
Robert: you have extreme value. every single friendfeed post you make goes straight to my email inbox - Tyler Gillies
"How am I serving the other person" is another way to phrase it ;) - Nicholas Orr
Andrew: mobs online can be both helpful and hurtful, yes. - Robert Scoble
I think twitterers get carrried away with all the "good" they are doing the planet with a $100 here or there. What is needed is CIVIC involvement. Electing people to SERVE that are not beholden or totally in the pocket of BigPharm, BigAg, Insurance companies and banks. Then--just maybe--if it is not too late, we will build a civil and engaged democracy where money is going into education instead of privately run prisons, where health care is readily accessible to all, where vegetable are subsidized instead of unsustainable cows. (I think you get the idea). - Meryl Steinberg
I saw another FF post earlier today from someone complaining of negative comments. I say screw them. Don't let the "mob" of negativity affect your own good work. If someone is complaining about you, there usually are other issue underneath that truly have nothing to do with you. You know you do good and that you have value. Leave the "mob" behind and the "group" of do-gooders will follow your call. - Martha
Mark: yup. They are building their brands on top of being hurtful. Me? I am going the other way. Funny dahowlett just keeps running his mouth about things he knows nothing about. - Robert Scoble
Quite frankly I'm getting tired of all the hurt. Maybe it's hypocritical of me to say so being that I'm part of the "Washington Establishment Journalism" scene. But then again I'm going to be evicted in a few months anyway because I can't find a paying outlet for positive, fair discussion or examination of things that people should find important. Maybe I should be in the hurt business...because pulling punches isn't paying right now (any exceptions?) - Andrew Feinberg
Still going to blog about this Robert? - Mark
Mark: yup I am working on that. - Robert Scoble
I am slowly learning to comment on FF, and not worry about the 'troll' or mob who will shoot down my comment. FF is a helpful community. I like it here. - Mike Nencetti
mike: gtfo. just kidding ;) - Tyler Gillies
I guess I'm missing something here. There seems to be an argument going around that FriendFeed breeds mobs because it's too good at bringing people together and getting them engaged - i.e. it's a very effective communications platform and the solution to the problems that stem from it is to move back to a less effective communications platform. - Edward Coffey
edward: yep pretty much - Tyler Gillies
Best way to control or destroy a mob is to cut off it's head. - Stuart Tracte
Just getting caught up and saw this rucus - tyergillies...That's what it's about - Wow - PXLated
Perhaps part of FriendFeed's power is that people -- for the most part -- aren't anonymous. It's hard to even hide behind a handle. And so contributors have an interest in building a reputation. The fastest way to build a reputation is to throw bombs. - Andrew Feinberg
@Andrew if you want the reputation of being a firestarter, then yes, you're correct. I prefer to take the high road. - Stuart Tracte
the fastest way to earn a block is by throwing bombs - Tyler Gillies
Interesting one of the definitions of mob is the mass of common people or populace (edited for sp) - Kim Landwehr
tylergillies: Glad I've got that more-or-less right. Now, call me crazy, but if just giving people a good way to communicate makes them form into a mob, then I think the problem lies with the people, not the platform. - Edward Coffey
edward: reminds me of the tower of babel - Tyler Gillies
The word mob has a negative connotation. How about the word bloc? There are plenty of likeminded people joining together for a positive, common cause. - Stuart Tracte
I think FriendFeed is probably the best example to date of a platform that gets out of the way and lets a huge number of people communicate in a very direct and immediate manner with friends and strangers alike. My impression is that a lot of people struggle with that initially, and fail to understand that the basic consideration that you give to a real solid meat-person you're talking with face to face needs to be extended to the meat-person that exists, somewhere, on the other side of the blue hyperlink that represents them on FriendFeed. - Edward Coffey
I mean obviously people, especially newbies, fail to understand that in all kinds of online fora, but FriendFeed allows a huge number of people to fail in a very direct, immediate and personal way, all at once. - Edward Coffey
Arrington called me a cult leader now. Hah! - Robert Scoble
robert: look who's talking - Tyler Gillies
There are trolls on any forum, I've learned. I've seen them on Facebook, on Twitter, here on FF. And before that, I saw them in class, I've heard them on the radio, etc. Bottom line: there will always be trolls. The key is how you deal with them (or not deal with them.) - Curt Mercadante
If I lead a cult it is one where very few listen to me. Oh, can you pass the Koolaide? - Robert Scoble
define "very few" - Tyler Gillies
Tyler: out of 97,000 how many take any action? Not many. - Robert Scoble
it helps scoble to thank you on providing me the inspiration on who i wanted to be in my real life your presence helps scoble - @runb@laj!
Nah: to have a cult you have to have followers who will drink the Kool Aide. I am far far from that. - Robert Scoble
You actually meet some of the criteria for a cult leader:p one of the most important is to be "charasmatic"!! - Mark
but robert isnt kool aide what the riddle is? - @runb@laj!
I gotta read Mikes tweets, this is hilarious. - Mark
RT Arrington "FF is actually getting scary. And scoble is sounding like a cult leader." - Welcome to the FriendFeed - donations accepted. - Mark
do you guys take blood? ;) - Tyler Gillies
mark that is the plan - @runb@laj!
What a day. Time will tell if FF will descend into an open mob which society will rise up against. Time will tell if Arrington ever comes back to FF (his site is supposed to cover the hottest start-ups after all). And time will tell if Robert writes that blog post he promised tomorrow. - Mark
Robert et al: Why must there be only bad connotations with the term 'mob'? Why is it assumed that if there is a mob they can only wreak havoc? I think largely because those sorts of mobs are the ones we get to see evidence of via media.Why don't we create a different sort of mob. One that provides value and doesn't tear down others? That is how you started this thread, right? - Sheryl
Sheryl: right. - Robert Scoble
mob n. # a disorderly crowd of people # syndicate: a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities # throng: press tightly together or cram; "The crowd packed the auditorium" # gang: an association of criminals; "police tried to break up the gang"; "a pack of thieves" - xero
@Sheryl: i think @Robert is saying just what you suggest. my question to him and to you is this: "Is mob mentality, no matter the motives or outcomes, a good thing?" is that what we want to build, promote, and use to get things done? - MikeAmundsen
The most powerful tool against trolls, and those who like to stir the pot (thereby inciting mobs), is silence. it will drive them crazy. goodnight everyone. great conversation. Thanks Robert! you rock. - Mike Nencetti
It is extremely rare that mob mentality produces something useful. Generally, the actions of the mob are that of whoever speaks first or loudest, not the one that makes the most sense. - xero
@xero: good point. i'd also point out that one of the key advantages of mob mentality is an anonymity that helps mask critical thinking and provide an absolution for any terrible outcomes from the action of the mob. i understand that @Robert and @Sheryl are not trying to create this kind of situation; that the word "mob" has been overloaded into something positive. but it's not clear to me that many of the aspects of mobs are being considered here. - MikeAmundsen
I provided the definition of mob earlier, there are NO positive connotations to it. If they want to call it a mob, they're going to get mobbed. ;) - xero
Mobs have always been a fact of life. They are an artifact of human social behavior, and the online world is no different at its root. Whether you walk to the city square to join the mob, or join it online, you make a choice. The digital world facilitates mob creation around different topics more rapidly, allows for mobs not constrained by geography, and supports anonymity where desired. Beyond that, the base human behavior is the same, as should be our response. It seems to me this is just the tragedy of the commons on a global scale. - Ryan McCormack
Years ago I had an amazing professor of American history who gave a lecture "The importance of Mob Violence in Early American History." It was chock-full of interesting examples of wise and clever mob actions, from torching excess tobacco in Virginia colony the year of a surplus to the careful disassembly, transport, and rebuilding of a hospital that townsfolk believed had been built too close to a settlement for comfort. Mobs can be constructive, but are also indicative of a power or process vacuum. - Richard W. DeVaul
@scoble as far as i'm concerned, your followers (myself included) are not a mob. We are a group of people looking to broaden our knowledge and interact with one another in a reasonable fashion. Those who disagree may call us a mob, but they are deeply mistaken. - Stuart Tracte
@Richard: interesting perspective. i wonder if, by today's lexicon, these actions against the established authority might be considered asymmetric warfare or even acts of terrorism. - MikeAmundsen
I've never seen any of these threads started by Scoble turn ugly. Look at this one. It seems like a pretty intelligent discussion, and I've read and participated in a lot of threads on FF - Stephen Pickering
@Stephen: another good point. for the most part, i find FF an excellent place to carry on conversations. - MikeAmundsen
online - maybe mobs (good or bad) will rule, but offline ? Under 30's seem to be able to 'mob up' quite effectively via SMS, but most activism (which may be illegal in the place where its occurring) requires face-to-face to establish bona-fides. - martin english
xero: thanks for the reminder of the definition. I would like to remind, however, that words and their definitions can change over time. Many words in the English language have evolved their meanings. Slang is a good example. Think of 'Bad' and 'Dope' But there are so many others. They are case specific, occasionally, but there are other instances as well. We have the power to change the impact of a word. We have just as much power to redefine the word mob. I think we are too caught up in semantics and need to allow the word mob is in an evolutionary phase and will very probably have a new definition in the not too distant future. - Sheryl
friendfeed is a good place for conversations? oh.. i wonder if they designed it that way - Tyler Gillies
like the picture -
Mobs, hysterias, and bubbles have been around forever. As Ryan (and others) noted, it's part of human nature. "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" is a great 19th century book on the subject: (obviously) pre-Depression, dot-com bubble, etc., but includes the South Sea bubble, the tulip bubble, witch mania, and lots of other fun historical examples. Good for perspective. - Ken Kennedy
A great quote from the author of "Extraordinary Popular Delusions...", Charles Mackay: "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Ken Kennedy