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Learning from other online communities

Zhigang Suo's picture

I just come back from a visit to the Institute of High Performance Computing, of Singapore. After the scheduled business, Chun Lu, the Program Manager of Large-Scale Complex Systems, kindly arranged me to give a tutorial of iMechanica at the Institute. He also pointed out that many people have had experience with online communities. It should be useful for us to

  1. recount these experiences, and
  2. discuss their possible relevance for the further development of iMechanica (i.e., things that we can learn from these experiences, and pitfalls that we should avoid)

We don't need to reinvent wheels, but should recognize wheels and make good use of them. So please share your experiences and thoughts.

Chun Lu's picture

Thanks for zhigang's 'evangelism' talk about iMechanica. I recalled another story when Chinese Character met with USENET. What I mean is newsgroups in USENET. There was a group called ACT (alt.chinese.text), which got very popular among overseas Chinese students and scholars during early 90’s.

Today, the glory of this group may only shine a corner in an INTERNET museum. Two facts slew ACT. 1. There were more and more anonymous users, they behaved without decorum. 2. The popularity of Internet itself offered all kinds of channels to alleviate homesickness, even addicted net-worms walked away from the group.

However, to my surprise, some digital magazines originated from the discussion group are still flourishing. This may demonstrate a difference between the well-organizing and self-sustaining. I leave it for Zhigang to mull over.

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