Hi ettore_bilbo, A-L-E-X, & jadestar!
Thanks so much for the messages! Apologies for the delay in my response - the IAC opened yesterday, and things are all happening very fast! Wish me luck in catching Elon! Also a pretty cool announcement - Australia is *finally* getting its own space agency!
Is anyone from the community here attending IAC?
@ettore_bilbo - Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your points that different communities or segments can overlap and/or change over time, but not necessarily evenly or equally are really interesting and important, I think!
Source of the post
in my opinion, probably there are more than one community, there are a lot of small group of people that use SE in different ways and interact on the forum with different objectives... there's a group of modders, there's a group of people that wait and are interested in the future game, there's a group who loves the scientific side of project...
Also, some people move along all or some of this groups, and someone else stay focused only on one interest
I also really appreciate you sharing some detailed examples of the kinds of things people make and create here, and listing some of the common practices people do (like making mods, sharing videos and images, discussing and arguing, etc.). It probably sounds a bit obvious and silly to list the ordinary little tasks you do, but as a bigger picture I think it's really fascinating and important - just being able to make and remake, share and access applications, knowledge, digital objects like this is really so novel/unprecedented and exciting in so many ways.
I'll be interested to see how this community evolves over time, too! The idea that SE has a strong foundation (an idea & vision, grounded in principles/practices of scientific accuracy, outside of market) reflects similar things I've heard other SE users say as well. I wonder if/how time, and potential popularity and increase in/influx of new users, could affect that foundation, or how the (sub-) communities here could get and keep everyone on the same page.
Source of the post
I see SE combining with other similar projects one day (for example one that I saw that simulates evolution) and different communities pooling to combine resources. I think that's a natural evolution of technology that it brings people together that would otherwise never even know of each other's existence.
@A-L-E-X - That's a really interesting thought! The possibility of SE as sort of modular or a base for other games/applications in future seems to be pretty popular of an idea here! I saw a cool presentation at IAC yesterday of a VR space simulation platform (doing things like walking around on Martian surface, assembling a rover, moving around a space station). The project I believe is called SpaceCRAFT, & I think it is a collaboration between a US university, NASA, and maybe an Australian uni as well. The simulations were geared towards learning better by experiencing things firsthand, and practising and improving by running simulations. There was talk of using the platform to 'explore the solar system', and I couldn't help imagining it mashed up with SE and being able to explore virtually, first person, all the incredible environments and planets that are generated in SE. Though how one would begin to run something like that I don't know.
What kinds of mashups or combinations between SE and other projects do you see as being particularly exciting or useful?
Hi @jadestar! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I'm happy (and intending) to share the work I produce as openly and accessibly as possible - but it's also still ongoing, in progress right now, so if there are particular directions, topics, or issues that you think would be really important or useful to you here please let's dialogue about it! Research and production as a process of co-construction is way more fun and useful, and I love when participants steer me right!
Source of the post
I'd describe it as a diverse science/astronomy and sci-fi interested community who for diverse reasons are interested in this project. We have everything from casual gamers, modders/3D modellers to science educators, amateur and professional astronomers in this community.
I think you make a good point about it as a diverse community here - varied professions, levels of expertise, kinds/styles of SE use. ettore_bilbo thought more of that perhaps in terms of separate communities (?), so it's interesting to think about what constitutes community boundaries, and how/where we might draw them.
Thank you so much for your detailed response! I feel like I'm learning so much from everyone's generosity. Your observations about the importance of early adopters in setting the tone, and difficulties newcomers can have matching it, and the time it can take for them to settle in, definitely match up with people's observations and experiences common across many and various online communities.
I *love* your story of how you came to be involved in SE - that you were able to use it to complete a project and were assisted by people here, and could return the favour in ways that see the application continue to develop and it and the community be supported - and that the community helping you to use it as a tool allowed you to develop new skills that you hadn't had before (3D modelling & software).
Your observations about community size correlating to updates are super interesting - probably it would be possible to find figures for numbers of downloads and forum users and timeslice them to compare at each update, but, like you said, it's not just the size that makes the community - qualifying the interactions people have, the connections they might make across platforms, and skills they might bring, changes in style & developments in the community, this is all much trickier. Qualifying the active and participating community - What kinds of things do you think might reflect or demonstrate that? Increased numbers of mods? Increased numbers/instances of helping behaviour in forum discussions? Something else?
And it's all good - I am so excited to learn here with you and hope we can have some cool dialogues and generate some ideas and insights that will be of use to you too!
Thanks so much everyone - I'm loving our chats! Please feel free to suggest other topics & ideas as well, if you have thoughts to share!