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The Monastery has a couple of things going for it that contibute the general positive air here:

A consistent theme, which makes it relatively easy to distinguish the on-topic from the off-topic. Communities that lack a consistent theme quickly fracture.

An emphasis on self-improvement and knowledge sharing, which puts a negative incentive on flaming. (Flame, and you risk not getting help, or at least not the type of help you want :-)

A friendly feedback mechanism, in the form of XP, which gives people gentle guidance on the kinds of behaviors that the community rewards. Without feedback on behavior, a site can degenerate into "anything goes."

Self policing, which makes it easy for senior members of the community to "fix broken windows" before too many of the wrong sorts wander in and think this is a free-fire zone.

Online communites that I've been a part of that have lacked most of the above have since fractured or redefined themselves. Compare the list above against, say, slashdot.


In reply to (dws)Re: Any interesting and poignant quote by dws
in thread An interesting and poignant quote by r.joseph

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