14 June 2006 5:32 PM (gnome)
Luis writes about the effect that planet gnome has had on the character of project-scope conversations in Gnome. He left a bit of meat on that bone though: why is it that (mostly) the same people are having a different conversation? Is it just the lack of a few individuals with a high mail-to-code ratio?
If I were to guess, it would be that with people treat web logs as a reflection of the self, and people choose to express who they are rather than who they are not. Thus there's not too much in the way of the print "You're wrong."; while True: print "No, you're wrong." loop. This does leave the planet "vulnerable" to monologues; however since all blogs have a monologue aspect to them, it would be difficult to limit this.
Aside from the identification of self with its written artifact, I feel another force at work, a definition of who is in and who is out. Those inside are more inclined to be supportive of each other, or at least tolerant, because hey, we're all in this together. There's a similar identification of the collective self with our writings. Stinging barbs as well-written as this one can only be written by those not on the planet, even though I know plenty of folks on the planet that think the same.
The other half of that would be entity outside, free to deride: that which is not part of the planet may be freely mocked. For example, the listengnome thread of a few months ago.
I do think that the current balance means that on-planet people don't get enough critical feedback. My threshold for sending off a mail saying "Hey, you're being an ass" is much lower than writing a post on my own web log to the same effect.