Community may not scale. There may be a “size limit” beyond which some kinds of community structures don’t work.
“Community” here can be interpreted in most of its meanings:
- a sense of community
- a place where the connectivity of individual members has certain characteristics
- a place with certain CommunalMores?
What's the reason?
If community doesn’t scale, why not? There are many theories:
what to do about it
What to do about this problem? There are a variety of contradictory proposals.
- Some people feel there is an “optimum size range” for the group. Below that size, these people try to actively recruit more people. Above that size, these people change the JoiningScript for new people to make it difficult to join the group. Sometimes people retroactively change the joining script to push out some of the “excess” people in the group who no longer meet the new qualifications.
- Some people (typically programmers trying to build on-line communities) feel that “more people is always better”. So they design things in a way that can “scale up” to every human on the planet. But they reject some feature requests, saying “We shouldn’t put X into the software, because it’s not scalable to 100s of members”.
- Other programmers say “Let’s put X in anyway. It’s a cool feature. It works fine for the 10 members we have now. I don’t care if it’s not scalable”. (AlexSchroeder: “I don’t plan to scale.”).