The level playing field| filed under: Online Communities, Online Community
The great equalizing factor, of course, is that nobody can see each other online so the ideas are what really matter.
Online, you can't discern age, race, complexion, hair color, body shape, vocal tone or any of the other attributes that we all incorporate into our impressions of people. This, of course, will change as audio and video become common along with the written word. But, even then, a lot of people will play their sounds and show their video but won't show themselves.If the balance tips to anyone's advantage, it's in favor of those who are better at articulating their views. Some people are amazingly skilled at debating. Other people feel shyness around their own forensic or expressive skills. Posting a comment is "stepping out," so to speak, putting yourself "out there" to people you might not know. And many of them aren't going to reveal themselves because they are just "lurking" (reading without participating). (Originally posted on October 9, 2000 at 03:10 PM)