Thursday, November 6, 2008

Your daily newsgroups

You don't realize how newsgroups and user groups resemble oral histories of a culture. With threads that include everything from civil discourse to extreme name calling, it's a fascinating look into people's behavior online and in relation to each other.

I've been pouring through the old newsgroups of adult fans of LEGO and Lugnet as part of my historical research into the beginning of the adult fan community. And I've found, in as much as there are the typical trolls and flame wars that mark any discussion on the Internet, there are also just as many pleas for people to find a way to communicate online. This is a community founded by people searching for fellow fans and excited for the chance to get to share what they love: LEGO.

But as someone who remembers AOL dial-up and how bulletin boards led to the world of social media that satures us today, it's interesting to read as people strived to figure out how to form relationships within the constraints of burgeoning technology. As for Hagrid, he just wants to find people who enjoy taking care of magical creatures and understand that buying a dragon egg from a guy in a bar is nothing to get worked up about.

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