In every "noisy" forum that I participate in (BTW, none of them are tech or
even work related), there are always people who dislike the noise. The
concerns are analogous to the ones expressed here -- irritation  factor, it
keeps people away, it's all about the "in" crowd, etc. Likewise, the
proposed solutions are similar to ones that have been floated here like
directing the noisemaking from the main group elsewhere or silencing it.

For things to work, everyone needs a reason to be there. People with less
experience need access to those who have been around the block. But a diet
of repetitive shop talk isn't very interesting for people who have a decent
handle on what they're doing. They need something else to keep them there,
and in the final analysis, many come for entertainment -- this normally
manifests itself in the form of high noise levels. But even if people spend
the vast bulk of the time playing around, nuggets of wisdom are shared. And
if something's truly serious, it gets attention.

It's far better to help people learn to tune out what they don't like, and
this is much easier to do in c4l than in communities where interaction is
primarily physical. All communities have their own character and
communication norms. It's important for people to be mindful of the
environment they're helping create, but reducing communication to help
avoid exposing people to annoyances screws things up.

In all honesty, I think the silliness on the sidelines is far more
important than the formal stuff. I know I learn a lot more while goofing
off than in formal channels for pretty much everything I do.


On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 1/18/13 11:30 AM, Andromeda Yelton wrote:
>> I also think some sort of 'what's zoia and how can you contribute' link
>> would be useful in any welcome-newbie plugin; it did take me a while to
>> figure out what was going on there.  (Just as it took me the while to
>> acquire the tastes for, say, coffee, bourbon, and blue cheese, tastes
>> which
>> I would now defend ferociously.)
> Having read through the c4l IRC FAQ (which has maybe a dozen Zoia
> commands) and later been pointed to the github hub for the plugins, I would
> say that Zoia is very complex and quite under-documented. For example,
> nowhere could I find the @mf plugin -- and then found out that the commands
> and plugin names are not always the same. While python isn't the worst
> language to read, reading code isn't the greatest way to make things
> understandable -- especially when we've agreed that one doesn't have to be
> a "coder" to be included in c4l.
> The zoia bot in c4l IRC strikes me as being a type of adventure game where
> you have to pass certain milestones to gain more power. I think that is
> very appealing to lots of folks. Unfortunately I don't think that it's
> going to be possible to have this tight c4l culture based around irc and
> also be broadly inclusive. In fact, that isn't the case today. As I said to
> someone offline, if you want the classical music folks to join your music
> channel but you primarily play heavy metal, it's just not going to work. So
> maybe trying to make c4l IRC everything to everybody isn't a feasible goal.
> You may have noticed (although it has been unremarked) that a larger
> number of men have listed "zoia-play" as a reason they do not hang out in
> c4l irc than women (1, me). So there are those who love it, and those who
> find it annoying. That's fine. But it does leave c4l with a kind of a
> dilemma -- try to make everyone happy? Or accept that the irc channel and
> its particular "flavor" may not be as inclusive as the community would like
> it to be. This would mean not seeing the c4l irc as a "primary community"
> space but as a "particular flavor of the community" space, and taking pains
> to make sure that c4l IRC is not billed as or treated as the "main stage"
> for c4l and those who do not hang out in the channel should not be viewed
> as "non-participants" in c4l (and I think they are not). However, by doing
> so we do lose the one central "go-to" place for quick questions when you're
> stuck in some technology nightmare. Some of that takes place on the list,
> but sometimes you want to find a real person and do a quick back-and-forth.
> This isn't an easy situation, and we might want to discuss it more at the
> conference. If the folks who aren't into the IRC banter aren't missing
> anything, then there's not really a problem. If, however, there is a desire
> to gather c4l-ers around the IRC channel (and there seemed to be when we
> proposed a channel for women, which was seen as "splintering the
> community", then we have some negotiating to do.
> kc
>> But not having zoia would make me sad.  And defining zoia to be
>> woman-unfriendly, when zoia-lovers and zoia-haters appear to span the
>> gender spectrum and have a variety of reasons (both gendered and non) for
>> their reactions, would make me sad too.
>> @love zoia.
>> Andromeda
>> On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>  ... and BTW, if people see Zoia as a bit of a problem during the
>>> conference, doesn't that mean that Zoia is a bit of a problem all of the
>>> time? Is there a reason to be polite and inclusive during the conference
>>> but not every day? Could this have any relation to the felt need to
>>> create
>>> #libtechwomen?
>>> kc
>>> --
>>> Karen Coyle
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>>> skype: kcoylenet
> --
> Karen Coyle
> [log in to unmask]
> ph: 1-510-540-7596
> m: 1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet