Cultural Resistance

Michael Caulfield, Hapgood, Feb 26, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This week's off-topic link for fun week-end reading talks about what might be called 'Underground Twitter', in other words, all those peculiar Twitter things that can be really off-putting to new users, things like weird Twitter or sea-lioning. Mike Caulfield writes, "It reminds me that Twitter, despite its problems, is truly a *community* whereas Facebook is a piece of software. Twitter has a cultural learning curve and Facebook doesn’t, but that’s mostly because Facebook has little culture to speak of." But that's both Twitter's strength and its weakness. Sure, it's great to have community (and in-jokes, and jargon, musical and a community song). But it's limiting, it's a barrier to outsiders, and it makes it unattractive. Caulfield says "the answer to the question 'Why is Twitter so culturally complex?' is that it’s the wrong question. It’s Facebook that is the weird thing here, a community that doesn’t develop an overall culture overtime." But Caulfield is wrong. Useful software doesn't develop cliques. It just doesn't.

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