9AM Berkeley conf: Revisiting Virtual Communities: The internet impact

Liveblogging from the conference.: Craig Newmark just gave a good chat about Craig’s List and how it addresses what people want (jobs, housing,dates) as a metaphor for addressing bigger issues (reforming government.) Mark Pincus is now describing how the web and social networks allow people to create their own groups and causes–“the revolution of the ants”-creating communities that can bypass traditional media and traditional choices by allowing them to form and trade in tribes.
Pincus: “The Internet is more and more about generating leads–for a date,a job,a purchase. But all leadsaren’t the same–social networks—who you know–are a filter that saves time and creates relevancy. Tribe is an experiment to form groups and then act.”
Markos Moulitsas ( Kos) is also on this panel(I am too); He describes his evolution from being a political commentator to being an activist, driving readers in to becoming involved inp olitical campaigns (and make donatiosn) for the first time.
Say Kos:”We’re trying to use the power of the web to draw people in who can become invested in a political campaign and donate—they’re not strangers anymore.”
More coverage here.
Discussion: “So why are people becoming more politically involved online? Is this a new group of people, or the same group in a new channel?
Comments from the group: What makes virtual communities work? What’s new? (Mernit talks about social identify and FOAF as emerging tools and attitudes).
Craig says “Think globally, act locally.”
Question: Do web blogs increase insularity and the echo chamber? Mark says: We’re seeing tribes cross and argue passionately about opposing points of view–
at Tribe.there’s been much discussion in the groups about freedom of expression.
Kos:”I just don’t believe in fair and balanced media.I think it seeps into coverage no matter what is published. I enjoy