Years ago I (co)founded a "eCitizenship" program that tried to look at what students need to be citizens of a virtual space. What I came to, perhaps less eloquently, is what Bonnie comes to here ( The current social web is built around identity, not collaboration, not citizenship. And that identity bias in software and practice can actively work against citizenship.

A lot of my work since has been about this issue -- how do we subvert the identity bias of the social web?

@mikecaulfield @bonstewart
I'm not sure you do. Citizenship happens because we have to share real space with our neighbors. I realized about ten years ago when I hung out in a Second Life community and governance experiment that virtual spaces aren't like that. It's almost trivially easy to take one's toys to another server or another platform/network. Your only incentive to be a good citizen is liking the people in your virtual social circle.

@jasongreen @bonstewart This is true, but I think there are vast differences between platforms, even given that truth. DailyKos to me, for example, is a community with a sense of citizenship. And of course earlier visions of the web were less identity-centric.

Your point is well taken though -- we call this the "party ends up in the kitchen" phenomenon. You get community by reducing space and options, and making collisions inevitable.

@mikecaulfield @bonstewart @jasongreen I've been watching community working here. There's the "party in the kitchen" clustering of small groups, that's a kind of social labour. But there's also a broader talk that resembles public good aspirations: working to help mastodon stay afloat by sorting through how things should be as the population grows, instances multiply and difference becomes socially complicating.

I'm not sure if this is citizenship, but there is a sense of care for the commons, and a willingness to dispute.

But this always has limits. And there are unresolved social challenges here.

I prefer it to Twitter, clunky as it is. But I want it to be linkable through concepts. Let's say I want to think about "party in the kitchen". I want to be able to fedwiki that in a daisy chain of ideas, but couple that with people-linking.

@jasongreen @bonstewart @mikecaulfield

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