K Frog Designs

Saturday, April 23, 2005

OFFICIAL cluMe Public Alpha 0.1 release

I've officially released cluMe to the public. Go visit it, its delicious, upload your artwork and have some fun. I'll be around fixing problems in the background.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

cluMe public alpha 0.1

In a few days, I will release the first public alpha of the now titled "clume project", but I can't help wondering why I am so inspired by this gut feeling I have to even bring out what can be seen as a flickr or deviantArt copy. So I have decided to write a little compost upon why the structure of clume differs from those of flickr or deviantArt, or even yahoo Groups.

There seems to be a lack of great sites on the net, consisting of consistant factions or groups. flickr for instance, offers accounts for users, and once you become a user you can join certain groups. But there lacks a lot in these groups. Lets take as an example, flickr's Adelaide group which consists of 27 members, myself included. This group is not constantly maintained (footnote #1) and has no authority figure. If this group did exist outside the world of WWW, as a photography club, the group would be far more successful for a number of reasons. First there would be an authority figure, or someone who organises regular meetings for the group. These meetings would allow the 27 members to get to know each other, and each others work, and they would more readily comment upon each others work. Some people might even entertain their own ideas about photography to other people, ideas that cant be phrased on the specificity of one image. The authority figure might even organise group competitions, or group experiments to produce more work upon one subject or object. And Finally have even noticed, in groups of 50 or more, a guest speaker is invited in to talk about their photography each month.

I ponder why a group outside the world of the WWW, could be more successful than one inside the WWW? Why the content of a group of say 500 members on flickr, could not match the content of a group of 50 members outside the WWW? There is some signifigance in the lack of success with the absence of an authority figure. If you closely compare groups on flickr, you might notice that ones which advertise an authority figure within the groups description are more successful than ones which dont. Furthermore, groups with an active leader, constantly involved in updating and promoting activity, are more successful than ones with a leader that exhibits little involvement. Milgram conducted several experiments upon "obedience to authority" in a more consistent manner than the flickr groups that I am generalising upon (footnote #2). The most notable point about these experiments is the importance of an authority figure (or "the experimenter" in reference to the "obedience to authority" experiments) appearing as real and present as possible. This point is in reference to the conclusion that "...teachers were less obedient when the experimenter communicated with them via the telephone versus in person", ("teachers" are similar to users). Of course there is a great limitation of meeting the leader of a flickr group in person, and even so, the leaders main control is through the group that exists on the web, his authority may be defunct outside the world of the WWW.

There are other problems with the limitations of the authority figure on flickr, as the leader is treated in the same respects as other users to the group. They have no control higher than a user over what is posted and how things appear. The only way they can identify themselves as an authority figure is through the description of the group.


  1. Flickr's Adelaide group has 4 discussions, the latest of them being started 2 months ago. Each discussion has, on average, half a post each. There is little textual information about the group (not even two lines), and the group has no authority figure. There are also 132 images submitted to the group, with little contextual discussion (which is surprising for 27 members, which, I believe, are not really interested in the group at all).
  2. The two notable conclusions from Milgram's "obedience to authority" experiments are that;
    • "...'two-thirds of [the] studies participants fall into the category of ‘obedient' subjects, and that they represent ordinary people drawn from the working, managerial, and professional classes' ".
    • "...that teachers were less obedient when the experimenter communicated with them via the telephone versus in person, and males were just as likely to be obedient as females".