Difference between revisions of "802: Online Communities 2"

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* The Mountains of Steam, referring to the game distribution service [http://store.steampowered.com/ Steam] where people could buy and download video games in general, not just MMOs.
 
* The Mountains of Steam, referring to the game distribution service [http://store.steampowered.com/ Steam] where people could buy and download video games in general, not just MMOs.
 
* River Grind refers to "grinding." In most MMOs, the character is a fighter of some sorts, yet starts at a level 1, signifying the character's aptitude level in combat. The character can level up and gain more aptitude levels through earning experience, of which the most reliable and otherwise common way is the process of "grinding," that is, repeatedly fighting opposing monsters (sometimes of a level notably lower that your character's), gaining experience points from winning these battles until your character gains a level, that is, "levels up". While a practical necessity in strengthening the character, this process can be tiresome, hence the expression "grinding."
 
* River Grind refers to "grinding." In most MMOs, the character is a fighter of some sorts, yet starts at a level 1, signifying the character's aptitude level in combat. The character can level up and gain more aptitude levels through earning experience, of which the most reliable and otherwise common way is the process of "grinding," that is, repeatedly fighting opposing monsters (sometimes of a level notably lower that your character's), gaining experience points from winning these battles until your character gains a level, that is, "levels up". While a practical necessity in strengthening the character, this process can be tiresome, hence the expression "grinding."
* Spawn Camp refers to "spawn points", the places in combat-oriented MMO's tend to produce ("spawn") random AI-powered creatures, and the act of "spawn camping, in which the player character simply stands behind or around the spawn points to fight the enemy creatures as soon as they spawn.
+
* Spawn Camp refers to "spawn points", the places in combat-oriented MMO's tend to produce ("spawn") random AI-powered creatures, and the act of "spawn camping", in which the player character simply stands behind or around the spawn points to fight the enemy creatures as soon as they appear.
 
* Gulf of Lag refers to how the MMO can be slowed down a considerable amount doe to the large amount of players simultaneously using the same server, this congestion bogging down the server and frustrating the users.
 
* Gulf of Lag refers to how the MMO can be slowed down a considerable amount doe to the large amount of players simultaneously using the same server, this congestion bogging down the server and frustrating the users.
  
 
==YouTube Region==
 
==YouTube Region==
 +
Many of the sites are just references to {{w|Viral Video}}s:
 +
* "Viral Shores" should be obvious.
 +
* "Prairie Dog Habitat" likely refers to the viral video [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw Dramatic Chipmunk] (which is actually a Prairie Dog).
 +
* "Rick Rolling Hills" references, well, {{w|Rickrolling}}. More information [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ here]. The "deserted" note likely refers to how Rick Astley himself is tired of the meme.
 +
* "Lunar Landing Soundstage" is, of course, a reference to the {{w|Moon landing conspiracy theories}}, which Randall has railed on before.
 +
* "Britney" likely refers to pop singer {{w|Britney Spears}} and the [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc‎ "Leave Britney Alone" guy].
  
 
==Twitter Region==
 
==Twitter Region==
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==Forums Islands==
 
==Forums Islands==
 +
* First and foremost we have 4chan.org, an imageboard infamous for its loose/often non-existent rules and incredibly vulgar userbase. 4chan's random board, known internally as "/b/", is almost constantly flooded with porn and image macros. This is why Randall's incarnation of 4chan is shaped like a penis.
 +
** The gulf labeled "Anonymous" is a reference to... well, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_(group) it's difficult to explain].
 +
** "{{w|Catbus}} Route" is likely a reference to {{w|Lolcat}}s in general.
 +
** "Tunnel to Habbo" is a reference to [http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pools-closed the 2006 Habbo Hotel Raids], in which hundreds of 4chan Anons simultaneously logged onto Habbo Hotel and proceeded to be as obnoxious as possible, standing in formations of swastikas and penises or body-blocking the swimming pools.
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==

Revision as of 19:51, 8 December 2013

Online Communities 2
Best trivia I learned while working on this: 'Man, Farmville is so huge! Do you realize it's the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the WORLD?' Then you wait for the listener to do a double-take.
Title text: Best trivia I learned while working on this: 'Man, Farmville is so huge! Do you realize it's the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the WORLD?' Then you wait for the listener to do a double-take.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Not all of the regions are fully explained.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic shows a map of internet communities where the size of each region roughly corresponds to its size, and its proximity to other regions indicates similarities.

This is the successor of 256: Online Communities. It differs in that it is updated, and furthermore, instead of using the membership of whichever service to determine its size on the map, it uses its "daily social activity."

The map actually has two super−maps: the online community map is surrounded by the "countries" of E−Mail and SMS ("Instant Messaging"). These, in turn, are surrounded by the "Spoken Language" country (which is odd, considering that e−mail, SMS, and the Internet in general are based on written language) with its own sub−country, "cell phones" (which do involve e−mail and the Internet while being the mean medium of SMS's).

Facebook Region

The Facebook region deals with social networks, that is, websites oriented towards having people meet.

Facebook is a social networking site that allows people to meet old real−life friends and make new friends that share similar interests. One of its most notable features is that a member can update a "status" or make normal posts about the happenings of the member's life, complete with pictures, other members "liking" these posts. The size of the Facebook region is not exaggerated; most websites seem to allow "liking" their content or allow/require logging in the website with a Facebook account. There even are cell phones with a "Facebook" button!

Farmville, Happy Farm, and Farm Town are all Facebook games. The "Unethical Bay" refers to how these games tend to addict players into constantly buying virtual items of questionable value.

The People You Can't Unfriend refer to people whom, due to real-life expectations and relationships, unfriending them is difficult, no matter how you really feel about them.

The Data Mines refer to the data mining that Facebook does with the interests of its members. This fuels the profitable advertising business at the expense of customer trust.

The Plains of Awkwardly Public Family Interactions refer to how interactions with family members on Facebook suddenly become more awkward because everyone on Facebook (and sometimes off Facebook, given that you do not necessarily need to log in if you want to see someone's Facebook account) if you are discussing with your family through post comments.

Title text

Randall explains that, using his definition of "most activity per day", Farmville is actually the second most popular "Facebook farming game". This will strike many as odd, because Farmville is by far the most famous, leading one to wonder how the most famous could not be the most played.
The phrase "browser-based social-networking-centered farming game" is an example of an overly-narrow superlative.

While Facebook is the largest "country" of the Facebook Region, there are a lot of smaller "countries" that represent smaller social networks.

  • Below Facebook (and "'Old Facebook' Resistance") is Diaspora, a fully open-source, decentralized, privacy-respecting-and-expecting alternative to Facebook. From what this map tells, Diaspora is little-known, even if Facebook is taken out of the context.
  • Taringa! is a Spanish-speaking social network that is based on a forums. Copyrighted material is frequently found there.
  • Classmates.com is a services in which the user can meet fellow classmates that came from the same high school. The website is probably best-known by its memetic advertisement that said "She married him??!! And they've got 7 kids??" (Incidentally, there is more to the coupled picture than what the advertisement says.)
  • MySpace is a social networking website that is a kind of proto-Facebook: users could customize their one-page websites with whatever they wanted, make their interests and daily lives public, and interact with other users. Back in the 1990's and the beginning of the 2000's, MySpace was the largest social network, many people using the website; however, the surprisingly-less-customizable Facebook ended up taking the place of MySpace. The "bands" country of MySpace refers to how a lot of bands in the day advertised and interacted using the website. Indeed, the latest incarnation of MySpace (in terms of 2013) is more oriented towards band members.
  • LinkedIn is a social network aimed towards people in the workplace.
  • Orkut is one of Google's first social networks before Google made Google+.
  • Hi5 is a social network that is very popular among people in Latin America.
  • Renren (「人人」, "people" in Chinese) is "a Chinese copy of Facebook."

Other areas of note are the Niche Market Mountains, where social networks aimed towards more niche markets are located. Similar to how mountains tend to be isolated from mainland, niche social networks tend to be just that: niche, without much interaction with the general populace. Above the Niche Market Mountains are the Charred Wasteland of Abandoned Social Networks. Given the popularity of MySpace and Facebook, there would be no doubt tons of websites wanting to take advantage of the success of these websites or even wanting to compete or even overpower with them. Even so, these websites tend to not have the userbase or even the expertise towards the long-term, hence they become wastelands: environments devoid of life, except the few life forms that are from these wastelands (in this case, the ones who are loyal to the website or which are sadly few).


MMO Isle

MMO's (short form of "MMORPG", short form of "Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Player Game") are websites that host online games where multiple people take the role of a character and play in a setting hosted by the website. These types of games tend to be fantastical in setting. Frequently, missions are added to the game, giving current player more incentive towards playing more.

  • Habbo Hotel is a website where someone creates a human avatar an interacts in a virtual world that is not that different from the one in real life.
  • Club Penguin is Disney's MMO where someone creates a penguin avatar and interacts with other in a more polar, cartoony setting. Club Penguin is aimed towards children.
  • Maple Story is an MMO that has a more natural setting. The most distinguishing feature of Maple Story is its cartoony pixel art.
  • GameFAQs, while not an MMO, is a website that has the largest repository of walkthoughs, that is, guides that help someone beat a game. GameFAQs is notable for not only its large repository of walkthroughs of games that are across an extreme variety of consoles, handhelds, and even computers (not all of them MMOs), but also the drama that is rumoured to happen in the GameFAQs forums.
  • IGN (full: Imagine Games Network), while also not an MMO, is the largest website that gives news on video games in general, not just MMOs. Each of the games mentioned in the site have pages that have summaries, reviews, screenshots, other art, videos, and links to news related to its games.
  • FFXI (full: Final Fantasy XI) is an MMO from SquareEnix, being the first MMO of the popular Final Fantasy series.
  • Runescape is an older MMO.
  • Starcraft II is an MMO with a science fiction setting that heavily involves space travel.
  • WOW (full: World of Warcraft) is the definitive MMO, being not only the most popular and one of the longest-running but also the most expansive (having its own spinoff games, comic books, novels, and even figurines), WOW giving the idea of how an MMO should be. A player can choose from a variety of races, each with its own heavy history.
  • Second Life is similar to Habbo, albeit with a bigger suspension of disbelief (one example being that the player does not need to be a human) and in a 3D setting.
  • Eve Online is a science fiction MMO which is notable because of its virtual economy.
  • Gaia (full: Gaia Online), while not an MMO, is a forums oriented towards pop culture, including video games and Japanese media. Its most notable feature is the heavy customization possible of a member's pixel-art avatar. Its members tend to roleplay a lot, albeit in a more written, story-based form. Gaia has gained a revaination of its members stealing art and causing drama.

Other notable regions include:

  • The Mountains of Steam, referring to the game distribution service Steam where people could buy and download video games in general, not just MMOs.
  • River Grind refers to "grinding." In most MMOs, the character is a fighter of some sorts, yet starts at a level 1, signifying the character's aptitude level in combat. The character can level up and gain more aptitude levels through earning experience, of which the most reliable and otherwise common way is the process of "grinding," that is, repeatedly fighting opposing monsters (sometimes of a level notably lower that your character's), gaining experience points from winning these battles until your character gains a level, that is, "levels up". While a practical necessity in strengthening the character, this process can be tiresome, hence the expression "grinding."
  • Spawn Camp refers to "spawn points", the places in combat-oriented MMO's tend to produce ("spawn") random AI-powered creatures, and the act of "spawn camping", in which the player character simply stands behind or around the spawn points to fight the enemy creatures as soon as they appear.
  • Gulf of Lag refers to how the MMO can be slowed down a considerable amount doe to the large amount of players simultaneously using the same server, this congestion bogging down the server and frustrating the users.

YouTube Region

Many of the sites are just references to Viral Videos:

  • "Viral Shores" should be obvious.
  • "Prairie Dog Habitat" likely refers to the viral video Dramatic Chipmunk (which is actually a Prairie Dog).
  • "Rick Rolling Hills" references, well, Rickrolling. More information here. The "deserted" note likely refers to how Rick Astley himself is tired of the meme.
  • "Lunar Landing Soundstage" is, of course, a reference to the Moon landing conspiracy theories, which Randall has railed on before.
  • "Britney" likely refers to pop singer Britney Spears and the "Leave Britney Alone" guy.

Twitter Region

Skype Region

Blogosphere

Blogosphere (Core Region)

QQ Region

Forums Islands

  • First and foremost we have 4chan.org, an imageboard infamous for its loose/often non-existent rules and incredibly vulgar userbase. 4chan's random board, known internally as "/b/", is almost constantly flooded with porn and image macros. This is why Randall's incarnation of 4chan is shaped like a penis.
    • The gulf labeled "Anonymous" is a reference to... well, it's difficult to explain.
    • "Catbus Route" is likely a reference to Lolcats in general.
    • "Tunnel to Habbo" is a reference to the 2006 Habbo Hotel Raids, in which hundreds of 4chan Anons simultaneously logged onto Habbo Hotel and proceeded to be as obnoxious as possible, standing in formations of swastikas and penises or body-blocking the swimming pools.

Transcript

Map of Online Communities
Size on map represents volume of Daily Social activity (posts, chat, etc). Based on data gathered over the Spring and Summer of 2010.
[Two insets on the upper left-hand corner shows that this map is a tiny portion of the huge continent of Spoken Language, encompassing portions of the Internet, Email, and Cell Phones (SMS).]
[The largest landmass on the map by far, which takes up nearly the entire northern half of the map is "Facebook" - with large states in the south-east of the country labeled 'Farmville' and 'Happy Farm'. There is a much smaller state to the west of these called 'Farm Town'. To the north of these states is a large swath of unremarkable land entitled 'Northern Wasteland of Unread Updates.' This is directly north of the large Dopamine Sea.
A peninsula on the south-west, just below the Plains of Awkwardly Public Family Interactions, houses many tiny states, such as MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Bebo, & Hi5. It is bordered on the south by Buzzword Bay, which contains several islands of varying sizes. Among these are YouTube and Twitter (the largest), which are separated by the Social Media Consultant Channel. To the south-east of Twitter, across the Sea of Protocol Confusion, is another, equally large island. Most of it is Skype, with the north having two largish states called AIM and Windows Live Messenger. On the south-west part of the island are two smaller states called GG and Yahoo Messenger.
The Island of Skype is extremely close to, but separated by the Great Firewall (a dashed line), the large landmass of QQ. It's north shore is the Gulf of China and Grass Mud Horse Bay. Outside of these bays, over the Great Firewall are two islands called Craigslist and 2Channel.
In the Dopamine Sea, off the southern shores of Farmville and Happy Farm, is MMO Isle. Its largest state is WoW, with Runescape, Lineage, Maple Story, Habbo, and the Mountains of Steam among its notable landmarks. To the southeast of the island is the Gulf of Lag, in which sits the CDC Games island, with Eve Online.
To the east of Twitter is Troll Bay, with such islands as Reddit and Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicio.us, and Wikipedia Talk Pages. To their south are the IRC isles, of which one is the tiny island of #xkcd.
East of these islands, and north of Skype island, is the Sea of Memes. In this sea, to the north of Craigslist and 2Channel, is an archipelago of tiny islands. There is an inset, labeled 'Forums.' (See below.)
To the southwest if Twitter island, in the Sea of Opinions, are the blog islands. These lie south of the islands in Buzzword Bay, as well. The northernmost islands in this group are centered around the Bay of Drama, on which can be found Diary Blogs, Gossip Blogs, and Livejournal. Gossip Blogs share an island with Political, Music, and Tech Blogs. To the north of this island is a smaller island called Photo Blogs. South of Diary Blogs, and off the southwest coast of Music blogs is a smaller island called Fandom Blogs. South of Tech Blogs, off of which sprouts the small peninsula of Business Blogs, is the Spamblog Straits. On the other side of the straits is a large island made up of Miscellaneous Blogs, with two states demarcated as Religious Blogs and Blog Blogs. Southwest of the Blog Islands is the Sea of Zero (0) Comments.]
[An inset of a group of islands in the sea of memes located on the lower right corner of the map, labeled 'Forums'. The largest by far is 4chan and /b/. Also found here are D2JSP, JLA Frums, Fan Forum, Something Awful, and many smaller ones, too numerous to list here.]
[The northeastern third of Gossip/Political/Tech Blogs island is another inset labeled 'Blogosphere (Core)'. This can be found on the lower left corner of the map. Two peninsulas in Political Blogs bookend the Bay of Flame -- these are Liberal Blogs and Conservative Blogs. Between them lie several tiny islands such as Politics Daily, CNN Politcal Ticker, and Mediaite. Off the coast of Liberal Blogs lies the island of NYTimes, off the coast of Conservative Blogs is Libertarian Isle. Between the two lies The Talk. The northern peninsula of Tech Blogs contains places such as Gizmodo, Engadget, Joystiq, and Kotaku.]
[Text found between the two insets, which are directly below the main map.]
ABOUT THIS MAP
Communities rise and fall, and total membership numbers are no longer a good measure of a community's current size and health. This updated map uses size to represent total social activity in a community -- that is, how much talking, playing sharing, or other socializing happens there. This meant some paring of apples and oranges, but I did my best and tried to be consistent.
Estimates are based on the numbers I could find, but involved a great deal of guesswork, statistical inference, random sampling, non random sampling, a 20,000-cell spreadsheet, emailing, cajoling, tea-leafing reading, goat sacrifices, and gut instinct (i.e. making things up).
Sources of data include Google and Bing, Wikipedia, Alexa, Big-Boards.com, StumbleUpon, Wordpress, Akismet, every website statistics page I could find, press releases, news articles, and individual site employees. Thanks in particular to folks at Last.fm, LiveJournal, Reddit, and the New York Times, as well as sysadmins at a number of sites who shared statistics on condition of anonymity.


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

I believe I can explain why the e-mail, SMS and Internet areas of the map are surrounded by the "Spoken Language" country. Yes, SMS, e-mail and most of the Internet are "written", but they're more of a "written spoken language", sharing many traits with informal spoken language. Maybe Wikipedia articles and blog posts can be classified as "standard written texts", but most other forms of electronically-mediated communication bare more resemblance to the way we speak: forums, chatrooms, Facebook posts, SMS texts, the usage of acronyms and smiley faces, etc. It's a widely researched phenomenon, and it continues to be a topic in the fields of linguistics, psychology, sociology and education (literacy attainment). As an aspiring linguist myself, I smiled when I noticed that these so-called "written" forms were next to spoken language :) 108.162.215.10 22:16, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

I wonder if it's intentional that 4chan looks like a penis... ‎65.40.201.44 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It needs to explain the ferry between 4chan and Gaia. Although, so does a lot of other stuff. 108.162.216.45 07:58, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I am still working on this. However, not only is this a big job, but I also have a lot to do outside here. In fact, I might even take a break from the Internet. I am simply warning others here. Greyson (talk) 04:37, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

about the Catbus Route on 4chan island in the Forums inset: Might it have something to do with the catbus in the animated film Totoro? In the film, the bus appears to have a regular route, or at least standard bus stops. 108.162.219.40 07:55, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Has anyone calculated the size of this (using Sulawesi for scale)? 108.162.221.150 00:22, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

This comic makes a brief guest appearance at 4:25 in the MinutePhysics post about magnets. Fewmet (talk) 01:46, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there an explanation of why the Twitter area more or less resembles the shape of US/Mexico? If you have a look at the Youtube area then there's Alaska, too. And since Justin Bieber is Canadian and the "Bieber Bay" seems to resemble the Great Lakes... Was Twitter an "US only thing" back in 2010? Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 10:11, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Pareidolia. 162.158.56.23 22:39, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Kind of cruel that someone linked to TV Tropes up there.--198.41.239.32 06:16, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

The "Russia (DJ)" island just next to Sarah Palin's area is probably a reference to her very commented statement that you can see Russia from Alaska,[1] somehow implying that it gave her some kind of expertise in international relations.--Pere prlpz (talk) 10:06, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

I looked, couldn't find anything about the Hidden Internet, Dark Web, Deep Web, etc. I sort of imagine it looks like a deep chasm or river (Styx?) to another world with the likes of the NSA, Wikileaks, Electronic Frontier Foundation on the outskirts. Tor is one entrance (or ferry?) to the Netherworld. -- GeoWendy 5:41 PM Tuesday, January 26 (UTC)

In what way is this explanation "incomplete" still?! It's marked as today's "incomplete explanation of the day" but it's already sixteen printed pages long. How much more content does there need to be before this site will consider this page to no longer be "incomplete?" Yikes... 162.158.253.18 20:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

MMO is not short for MMORPG. It's just not. MMO means Massively Multiplayer Online. Like Dota 2, which is in no way an RPG. Or maybe Realm of the Madgod. Also not and RPG, but YES an MMO. that little gripe having been posted publicly, however, I've just realized that even if it's the day's incomplete article, nothing's going to happen, so fair warning: I'm going to do it meself. 162.158.92.128 10:48, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Annoying pedant again, here with another annoyingly pedantic statement. (https://xkcd.com/1405/) RPG is short for ROLe PLAYING GAME. NOT "ROLE PLAYER GAME" It doesn't matter now, because I fixed it, but if someone who doesn't understand the difference between MMO and MMORPG, they can at least remember to fix "Role Player Game." Annoying Pedant out. 162.158.92.128 10:54, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

There are many things wrong with the part about MMOs. AnnoyingInconsistentPedant (talk) 20:25, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

I added some things to MMO isle. Someone should probably give better descriptions though. I didn't have the time to research: Active Worlds, Smallworlds, UO, EQ. Feel free to add those in if you are looking for something to inprove. PowerKitten (talk) 15:45, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

It seems like this comic has been "incomplete" for all eternity. This comic is in the "Incomplete explanation spotlight" more than ANY OTHER COMIC. The thing's huge! That's natural! I say this explanation does a pretty good job of explaining most if not every grating detail about this comic! I think we should use the Incomplete Spotlight for comic explanations that are ACTUALLY BAD. So can we stop giving this explanation grief for maybe leaving out a few 5-pixel towns? Thank you and stop fussing. -A person who thinks this explanation is good

108.162.219.56 11:34, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

No. If an explanation is incomplete, an explanation should be edited until the point where it is as complete as possible. 141.101.104.86 16:04, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

I'm not arguing that. I'm saying that there are other explanations that are more incomplete than this one. 108.162.219.56 21:04, 26 April 2016 (UTC)