February 16, 2004

broadcast in bottom-up clothing

Three or four months ago, I didn't know Joi Ito from a french fry. I still don't know much. I wandered into a couple of joi communities because some of my long-time blog friends were hanging out there and I wondered what the hell a #joi or $joi or whatever the little symbol thing was was.

At the time, I thought Joi was a she by the name of Joy. Now I understand, through the chatter of blog back circuits, that Joi is 1) a guy, 2) a nice guy, 3) a very rich guy who travels a lot, and 4) a guy with a lot of money and clout who thinks blogging is important. Then I started reading his blog now and then, and I found even more interesting than what Joi wrote were some good discussions that took place in his comments.

Let me reiterate, I have had exactly zero personal exchanges with Joi since I began blogging in 2001; therefore, I can't speak to who Joi is as a person. Just that I know he's actually, like, Joey, and not Joy.

But what he says in LLL's comments in relation to her self-congratulatory post on how uncivilized some bloggers have become makes me think that 1) Joi's popped a gasket, or 2) Joi wants something out of blogging that I hope he doesn't get.

Joi says:

To a certain extent, I have to begin taking responsibility for "the community" does, and somehow influence the behavior of the community without exerting authority or control.... I have a feeling one of the best ways to influence the behavior of a community is really to try to generate memes or social norms that amplify good behavior and discourage bad behavior. They need to be nurtured and reinforced. But as with most emergent systems, I don’t think it’s easily designed and more a process of being sensitive and aware of the issues as things develop.

TO INFLUENCE THE BEHAVIOR OF A COMMUNITY?

AMPLIFY GOOD BEHAVIOR?

DISCOURAGE BAD BEHAVIOR?

THEY NEED TO BE NURTURED AND REINFORCED?

What the fuck?

Then what? Segment and target?

WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT?!?!?

Have you swiped Stavros' glue?

To all of you of who think that this is your classroom, your experiment, your personal research project in emergent social networks, in emergent democracy, or emergent brands of toilet paper, I pledge to you, from this day forward, that I will do everything in my power to skew your research, disrupt your leadership styles, cripple your ability to peg me, and if that doesn't work, to egg your houses.

Ms. Behaving asks how dare shelley.

I ask, how dare YOU.

How dare YOU and how dare YOU.

Emergent shit from my anus.

That's what I say.

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