The present state of online communities is a result of years of growth. Different methods of government have been tried with varying success. In some cases the online world has learned from its mistakes. In others it has not. In this section we explore the history that has given rise to our present state. This includes both general trends as well as specific examples that have helped to form the online world's present state and which we hope will give insight into where online communities are headed.
The History of LambdaMoo
Muds offer an interesting look into the history of online communities. Their evolution contains similarities to many online communities. They have experienced growing pains and tried out many different forms of governing. Here we look at some of the key events that have shaped the evolution of one of the most popular MUDs: LambdaMoo. We analyze how it has expanded and what such growth has meant to its structure.
A Rape In Cyberspace
Probably the most notorious event that has had a tremendous impact on the way in which online communities are governed was an event dubbed "A Rape In Cyberspace" by an article in the Village Voice. This article described an event that would have repricutions on the entire virtual world. Here we take an indepth look into this event and what it has meant to online communities.
The Great Renaming
The Great Renaming is a typical example of the evolution that many communities undergo. When Usenet began to grow beyond the original vision of its creators, a new structure had to be adapted. As the internet and online communities begin to explode in participation, many such groups will have to undergo similar changes in order to meet the demands of their users.