I have to start out on this reaffirming my status as a practitioner: all of this comes out of my observations working with online community, non-digital community, and trying to understand the social dynamics I saw unfolding, both in traditional and newer, emergent, contexts.
So this all starts with the notion that we're social creatures, and further, that we've evolved to be social creatures, that some of our success as a species rests on our ability to work together to accomplish mutually satisfying goals.
There are a
number of ideas that fall out of this, that explain, or connect, to very
One broad area is a set of behavior I've taken to calling "collaborative accomplishment": basically, an evolved fitness for and enjoyment of small team activities. We love working together to get stuff done (even if it's simply beating the other team) - in part our success at group activities is driven by our enjoyment of them (no coincidence here). More on this another time, it's a huge and, I think, very exciting area.