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"The monkeys produced five pages ...failed to type a word ... and used the keyboard as a lavatory."

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"The monkeys produced five pages of text, mainly composed of the letter S, but failed to type anything close to a word of English, broke the computer and used the keyboard as a lavatory. " - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8789894/Monkeys-at-typewriters-close-to-reproducing-Shakespeare.html

What makes some online communities continue to have interesting "quality" conversations and others either start low brow or head for the gutter as they get more popular?

Usenet had good conversations, which got noisier each September and eventually died. Digg had good conversations, hit the mainstream and went downhill and spammy.

YouTube is famous for having nobody online with a mental age over 13, but without any data to back it up I think the comments on FailBlog are even worse. I can't prove there are monkeys involved, but I have no evidence that there are not.

106 is too small to have many idiots now, and most of the people talking have met others in real life so are less likely to descend into choruses of "omg your gay", but how do we keep it that way?

I've been thinking about this ever since the Social News Deterioration convo.

I'm open to ideas, but here are a few that come to mind:

Employ reputation to elevate the writings that have more Props and more Stashes, and elevate the writings of people who have more Props, more Stashes, and more Reputation in their profiles.

Improve following so that rather than follow all, we can follow the topics (and people?) we want.

Additional curation and moderation tools so that convo owners can hide and delete parts of the convo that do not contribute quality.

In addition, we need to demonstrate that the more that people invest into quality here, the more this can add to the online reputation they have at places like Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

To that end, perhaps we invest more in profiles that represent a person the way blogs currently do.

This is an excellent problem to be addressing. I don't have any thoughts off the top of my head but I'd love to hear other members of the community chime in. I'm sure there's plenty of wisdom to be unlocked.

Well, I think one trick would be--and G+ should learn from this--don't let anonymous people from Russian invite you on your Google Apps email, but when you go to block it give an error message that G+ doesn't support Google Apps emails yet.

I think Myspace and Friendster in the positive, and Orkut in the negative, learned that segmenting cultural populations is a huge way to reduce "uncomfortableness". Too many Russian, Chinese, or Brazilian friend requests from random people tends to deteriorate the social fabric. Yes, they potentially could collaborate, but why?

I'm still waiting for a social network that automatically cross-translates. You could have friends and never know they don't speak your language.

G

I don't know that where the random strangers comes from is the main problem. Strangers inviting you into private interactions before you've had chance to evaluate them in public is not the way real life friendships tend to start.

I'm more likely to have something in common with a stranger down the street, than a stranger a few continents away, but I still don't want the local one asking me for favors.

How can you allow long lost real life friends to get in touch with you without allowing Nigerian probate attorneys to bug you too?

Cross translation would be very cool. Google have all the parts needed to attempt it now, but I suspect with the quality of machine translation today it would lead to more uncomfortableness, not less if it was automatic.

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