Know Thyself

Some people do not cope well with chaos. MOOs are chaotic at times. Other times they are quiet refuges where you can work on your own projects, chat with one or two friends, meet quietly with students. But many times MOOs are loud and messy, especially when you introduce groups of new users. The more people talking in a room, the more text scrolls by. If you are bringing in new users, the demand for help can be overwhelming. If you are partaking of a "cafe" type event such as Judi Kirkpatrick's Coconut Cafe or Netoric's Tuesday Cafe, discussed in Sharon Cogdill's @go Tuesday, and many MOObies are madly scrabbling for help or, as in the case at Tuesday, many "seasoned" users are all gleefully MOOing their work, the sheer volume of discussion can seem overwhelming. Some folks never seem to believe that "serious" works get done. And yet, as Cogdill points out, work does come from play.

One learns to deal with the chaos, scan text quickly and efficiently, pick up and focus on certain threads of conversation. But you must know how to cope with chaos, or at least be ready to learn. As Claudine Keenan recommends in Wading Through the MUD: The Process of Becoming M** Literate teachers *and* their students will benefit when teachers become M** literate. Judi Kirkpatrick provides just such a place, for teachers, MOO Mai Tais and all.

Those who choose to MOO learn to deal with the messiness in different ways. But the MOO is NOT a place for control. If you have strong control issues, the MOO might not be the place for you. If being a central authority is important to you, the MOO might not do. If you blanch at the notion of making mistakes in a public medium (EEP!!), the MOO is not the place for you. However, if you agree with the bard, that:

                All the world's a stage,
        And all the men and women merely players;
        They have their exits and their entrances;
        And one man in his time plays many parts...
then, welcome. You have found a home. As Sharon Cogdill observes in @go Tuesday, "For the computers and writing community and for many teachers who use computers in their classes, the Tuesday Cafe has become a kind of home away from home." Just as Tuesday Cafe has been home to many teachers, so have other spaces elseMOO become home to students. But that's a different story.

MOO Commandments











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