A couple of weeks ago, I shared a wonderful conversation between online community pioneer Howard Rheingold and his daughter, Mamie Rheingold. If you haven’t watched it yet, definitely check it out.
Among the many great things that Mr. Rheingold said, this quote really jumped out at me:
“If you were a good FidoNet operator, you would have a lively community. You would let people fight it out among themselves, but if things got too heated, you would try to communicate with them backstage. You would do your best to work it out. If you couldn’t work it out, you threw people out. That [operator] has to work. So Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Boing Boing or me at Brainstorms – we passionately cared about our community, so we would talk with people. We would talk with people who were outcasts, and not every outcast is a troll. If you throw out your outcasts, you lose a lot of your creativity and verve.”