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Monday, September 27, 2004

Threaded Discussion Mini-Analysis

So, with the Third Mission Impossible flick starring Tom Cruise in production, I was curious what people had to say about the previous two prequels. I had my own opinions, but I've never read through a thread about this topic. So I found one. I spent about five hours doing so. it was actually enjoyable to read and reread threads and following the authors' trains of thought. My analysis was actually fun too.

Here's the link:

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&threadm=8l67im%24fjei%241%40nntp3.u.washington.edu&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dmission%2Bimpossible%26ie%3DUTF-8%26hl%3Den%26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch

There wasn't an explicit question, per se, but all 29 posts were obviously answering the same unstated question, which was: What do you think about the second Mission Impossible? I was amazed at the length of the posts and the detailed information they offered. In this single thread, one could get a summary of the movie and an entire background on the Mission Impossible franchise. There is no way that all of these posts were written from memory. there had to be some research done, just to be able to post the information. So, this made me wonder, what would cause people not to just post stuff quickly that was in their heads, but to take the time to look stuff up and post what appeared to be quality posts.

Can altruism truly be the explanation? Personally, I don't think so. Maybe to some degree, but not entirely. I do subscribe to the mixed-motive belief, yet I think there are two prevailing motives. I might be wrong, but I'll wait until that emperical study comes out showing that I am. I believe that people put so much time and effort into putting up quality posts because, one, they want to establish themselves as a knowledgable person in a particular area, and two, writing helps to organize thoughts and why not post those organize thoughts somewhere.

I think the current blog phenomenom has very comparable motives. Why would people post things about there life, their thoughts, their direction in a blog? Well, to get their thoughts out their so as to appear knowledgable in a certain area, and to organize their thoughts (because, hey, why would you post unorganized thoughts for the world to view?) Again, there is some altruism involved. Some people just post in blogs in hopes to better the world, but I don't think it's the prevailing motive.

But, who am I to say...I'm pushing a grand total of two months being involved in Social Software, so maybe my takes will change with experience.

1 comment:

David said...

Interesting dualism. Do you really think these are the only two motives? I was hoping for a slightly meatier analysis... =)