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Community Champion

The "Community"

I was relating the latest on the ISC2 "community" to Gloria, and she noted that it has been created in the image of "social media."  Social media is, of course not designed to foster communication, but to create the illusion of social interaction, even when none is taking place.

(She was kind enough to refer to a piece I wrote 33 years ago, after I had been on the net for a few years, noting that certain design factors in messaging systems did actively foster misunderstandings.)

There have always been social aspects and interactions in all communications systems.  Email emables lots of interactions between friends, quite aside from all the business deals being arranged.  Usenet was very social.  (Possibly still is, for the 17 people who still use it.)

But the hard core social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, are specifically built to make it look like you're communicating, even when you're not.

For example, there is the ease of making a post.  About anything.  Show people a picture of your breakfast.  And, the thing is, that "show people" may not be true.  Just because you've posted, doesn't mean anybody has read.  Even if you've got "friends" or "followers," are they reading what you post?  Ease of posting does not translate into ease of saying something worthwhile: it usually just makes it easier to post any random thought.  Thus making it more likely that what is posted is not worth reading.

That is true even if they "like" (or "favorite," or "kudo") your posts.  We were recently required to join Instagram in order to "follow" the kids and grandkids.  And we were instructed that Instagram etiquette requires that we "like" every post and picture.  So we do.

(Actually, "we" is misleading as well.  The account is in my name, since Gloria doesn't want to join any social media systems.  But Gloria is the one who actually checks it, "likes" everything [in my name, remember] and alerts me to any pictures that aren't just a bunch of friends sitting about a table at some generic bar.)

This etiquette about "likes" is undoubtedly by design.  You will note that there is no "dislike."  (Yes, I am well aware that a dislike button would be abused.  In a sense, that's part of my point.)  People on social media want to "like" everything so that others will "like" everything, including posts the poster has made (but that possibly nobody has even read).  "Kudos" are, therefore, pretty close to being meaningless.


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30 Replies
Community Champion

Re: The "Community"

Have to agree with you regarding "kudos" and "likes".

The only true indicator of meaning is the engagement by the others on the platform.

Unfortunately, so long as there is an algorithmic sorting of the posts involved, those that have more views, likes or kudos would advance to the point of making all other content invisible.

 

Reddit has somewhat better approach with posts being voted up and down by users, but it is still not without shortcomings.

 

"Following" someone inevitably subjects you to the narrowing of the scope and diversity of information.

 

There is simply so much of it that it's getting harder every day to filter out the chaff and get to the interesting pieces. I'm sure that the proliferation of the chat bots and AI-assisted journalism makes things even more difficult.

 

We are doomed to drown in data or be at the mercy of algorithms that filter it for our consumption.

 

The </End> is near...

Advocate I

Re: The "Community"

Man, such a gloomy outlook on this; and yet here you are.  Smiley Very Happy

 

This is simply a new format for one of the oldest communication methods on the Internet.  If I remember right, forums such as this existed before there was chat and private e-Mail.  It will be what you (and the rest of us) make of it.

 

That leads me to my second point.  This is not Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or any other general purpose forum.  It caters to professional members of (ISC)^2.  This community includes certification holders, those interested in certification, and those that are neither but still contributing to the maturation of the CBK (even if that contribution is about how to control access on a forum like this to make sure the Trolls stay at bay).

 

Each of us is free to engage as much or as little as they want.  Sometimes Kudos or Likes are simply nettequite for acknowledging something was read, but I believe that would be somewhat less so on a professional forum like this (or for example, LinkedIn).  Unlike in your private life where you are free to like or dislike without much passing judgement modern art, pictures of your neighbor's sleeping cat, or what your family had for dinner on their cruise for example, tying your name to a post (including through a Like or Kudo) in a professional forum like this may actually sway your real-life reputation.  Do so at your own peril.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.

Community Champion

Re: The "Community"

"It will be what you (and the rest of us) make of it."

 

Indeed, quite true: the "Community" is like a sewer.  What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it.

 

"If I remember right, forums such as this existed"

 

And, yes, you are right again: there are older, and still existing, communities.  The CISSPforum is the original.  For those brave enough to attempt the arduous journey, see http://www.noticebored.com/html/cisspforumfaq.html#Subscribing

 

"before there was chat and private e-Mail."

 

That would have been hard.  Before that, all we had was file transfers.  Although some people used them for email, of a sort ...

 

"This is not Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or any other general purpose forum."

 

It shouldn't be.  But it is designed that way.

 

"It caters to professional members of (ISC)^2"

 

Ah, but this is my point.  It isn't designed for professionals.


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Contributor I

Re: The "Community"

It seems very apropos in regards to Infosec in general... So many tools, each one adds a little more hay to the haystack, now I just need a magnet that works to find the needle
Contributor I

Re: The "Community"

It's fairly obviously built to be very much like Facebook and linkedin and I have to say if this is what you consider to be catering to professuonals particularly Infosec professionals, we may have different views in what that term means. (I should get a kudo for not going with the princess bride quote).

I didn't realize this platform was so much more open than the cissp forum in terms of restrictions. The nice thing about the other forums is we can usually be assured of at least a basic level of competence (not that I have any issue mentoring/teaching etc, and no knock on those learning, it's simply nice to know I can poke a bunch of peers about an issue)
Advocate I

Re: The "Community"

Robert,

 


@rslade wrote:

 

"This is not Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or any other general purpose forum."

 

It shouldn't be.  But it is designed that way.

 

"It caters to professional members of (ISC)^2"

 

Ah, but this is my point.  It isn't designed for professionals.


In your opinion, what elements or changes to this forum would make it cater to professionals?

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.

Advocate I

Re: The "Community"

Dain,

 

I have to ask you the same question I asked Robert.


@Dain wrote:
It's fairly obviously built to be very much like Facebook and linkedin and I have to say if this is what you consider to be catering to professuonals particularly Infosec professionals, we may have different views in what that term means. (I should get a kudo for not going with the princess bride quote).

What elements or changes to this forum do you think are necessary to make it cater to professionals?  

 


@Dain wrote:
I didn't realize this platform was so much more open than the cissp forum in terms of restrictions. The nice thing about the other forums is we can usually be assured of at least a basic level of competence (not that I have any issue mentoring/teaching etc, and no knock on those learning, it's simply nice to know I can poke a bunch of peers about an issue)

Does open in your mind translate to unprofessional?  

 

I am a member of several other professional communities.  The hallmarks of value in these communities is the sharing of information and the promulgation of expertise, including to and among those that are not certified.

 

There is an assurance of a basic level of competence among those that you correspond with here.  Because this forum is actually managed by (ISC)^2, the qualification status of folks posting can be verified to much higher level of confidence.  Members of (ISC)^2 and certification holders are given "badges" that clearly indicate the credentials they hold.  Additionally, closing the community would prevent the input from fresh minds not necessarily put into the rut of and bias from rigid CBK thinking.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Champion

Re: The "Community"

"In your opinion, what elements or changes to this forum would make it cater to professionals?"

 

Speed of access to info, for one thing.  As previously noted, the overall design and method of sorting and posting makes it almost impossible to quickly get an idea of what has been posted recently.

 

(Also, how on earth do you get the quote function to work properly?)


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Advocate I

Re: The "Community"

Robert,

 


@rslade wrote:

 

Speed of access to info, for one thing.  As previously noted, the overall design and method of sorting and posting makes it almost impossible to quickly get an idea of what has been posted recently.

That's a pretty easy fix.

 

Use the Community home page.  The main part is divided into two sections.  (1)  "Latest Topics" which can be expanded to see things in reverse chronological order to when they were posted.  And, (2) "Hot Topics" which can be sorted either on the basis of how many "Kudos" it got (is this part of your contention with this system?) or using the drop down, by the recency of the last post (my favorite sorting method).

 

Searching is relatively easy too.  There's a search bar at the top.  The Forum is indexed by Google, and by the way that means they're also publicly viewable through Google.  Thus, the beware of your conduct here!

 


@rslade wrote:

 

(Also, how on earth do you get the quote function to work properly?)


Um....  Uhhh.....  .... Press the button that says Quote?  I dunno.