Nov 302009

I am unsurprised to see that there is a fresh paper out that states that there are strong mathematical commonalities between gang formation and guild formation. (I am also unsurprised to see Nic Ducheneaut and Nick Yee among the authors of the paper).

In particular, we find that the evolution of gang-like groups in the real and virtual world can be explained using the same team-based group-formation mechanism. In contrast to the quantitative success of our team-based model, we find that a homophilic version of the model fails. Our findings thus provide evidence that online guilds and offline gangs are both driven by team-formation considerations rather than like-seeking-like. Interestingly, each server’s Internet protocol (IP) address seems to play an equivalent role to a gang ethnicity.

“Human group formation in online guilds and offline gangs driven by a common team dynamic”

The source data comes from WoW guilds and from Long Beach CA street gangs — and with lots and lots of data points to boot.

What’s the mathematical model underlying the two? Well, it’s a basically pragmatic approach to team-building:

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Playing live web concert tomorrow

 Posted by (Visited 11057 times)  Game talk
Nov 262009

I am playing a live web concert tomorrow, from 2 to 4 pm Pacific, in Metaplace. The set list will be completely different — no overlaps — from the Halloween show. As before, it’ll be just me and a guitar, streaming live to the world.

I’ll have the world embedded here on the blog, like last time.

Nov 252009

danah boyd gave a talk at Web2.0Expo that I thought made some great points.

The irony is this: while she gave her talk, the Twitter backchannel was being projected up behind her, where she could not see it. She was in fact in an attention battle with every Tweeter there. On top of that, she couldn’t see the audience, so her feedback channels on how she was doing — incredibly important to a speaker — were just completely broken. In other words, the backchannel had a better attention platform than the speaker did.

Unsurprisingly, the talk went poorly. danah’s dissection of it makes for compelling reading.

Her talk can be found in its entirety at “Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media” — don’t rely on my simplified version:

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