1. Disqus Ranks: Disqus has been testing ‘Disqus Ranks’ on AVC and Gotham Gal blogs. Essentially, it tags each commenter based on their activity in the community. Fred has gone for a ‘bar’ theme with him being the bartender and the rest being ‘instigators’, ‘regulars’, ‘familiar faces’ etc while Joanne has gone for a party theme.
I’ve personally found this feature fun and meaningful. It acknowledges your involvement in the community, encourages you to get more active and perhaps most importantly, it adds a feeling of ‘one-ness’ to the whole conversations.
This is a feature I am VERY excited about. And I can’t wait for Disqus to roll it out so we can have it here. I’m already thinking of a theme and am leaning towards a ‘flight’ theme with a steward (yours truly) and frequent flyers (i.e. you). Suggestions are welcome of course! :)
2. Pseudonymity: Mark Suster wrote a great post yesterday on the importance of Pseudonymity i.e the importance of encouraging anonymity and pseudonymity in communities. This was as a follow up to a short post by Fred on ‘Real Names’
I found this very relevant because I never understood the concept till a few months ago. I somehow associated anonymity with critics who didn’t want to say their real name. But, over the past few months, I’ve seen Anonymity/Pseudonymity on display (again at avc where we have a standard bunch of regulars – one great example is the Fake Grimlock) and I fully appreciate the positive effect a bunch of fun avatars can have on a community. And it’s been a nice learning to see how Fred welcomes it as well.
As I’ve said a few times, I visualize/hope we’ll have a learning community going here and I think the place to start would be to lighten the mood a bit. I’ve already requested a talented friend for a goofy avatar and I’m looking forward to that!
And while it is obvious from the number of times his name shows up on this post, a big thanks to Fred Wilson for all the learnings I’ve had from watching him operate as a blogger over the past few months. Thanks Fred – I know you probably won’t be reading this but you’ve made a huge difference!
And here’s hoping these little changes will be the start of something very special..