Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Clubs, Forums, and Beta Wolves

I am or have been involved in a number of clubs, online message forums, and other groups over the years.  If you have as well, you’ve seen them ebb and flow.  You’ve seen personalities clash.  You’ve seen people drop out, and others never really participate — sometimes because they have nothing to add, but sometimes because they fear being attacked.

Cartoonist Donna Barr makes some good commentary on the matter in this article.  Here is a pertinent quote:
They taught me what groups were all about — internal politics, single-minded subject matter, petty squabbles, and attempts to direct everybody and anybody involved with the Point of the group interest into each little leader’s personal camp.  For this I am grateful &mdash but I'll be damned if I’ll let ’em get near me again.
There are people who seem to survive well in these sorts of environments, though.  (Survive, not lead!)  Maybe these are the “Beta Wolves”: the people who recognize the politics for what they are and don’t let the politics control the people.  They are people with no more than a minimal agenda, but who are willing to give as good as they get: they aren’t afraid of getting barked at, but no “alpha” attacks them without getting bit himself.

Updated on April 12, 2011

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