3y ago


First I encountered a promo video on FB. Jeremy Clarkson promised something great to come into being. And something car-related. This made me submit an application immediately and... The Holy Trinity opened gates to Heaven. Three days ahead of time, actually. So, here I am with a couple of my thoughts. 

It's very interesting to observe the dynamics of social interactions in D_TRB. Why? Because it's new. Everything's new for everyone. People, ideas, interface, technical solutions, glitches. Ground zero. This makes everyone behave differently than usual (i.e. than on a FB or Twitter). And that's the point where the novelty effect reveals itself. 

Let's define the novelty effect as Clive Thompson did it: " the short-term boost in performance that comes from changing the environment around you." In other words, anything different leads to differences (deviations?) in human behavior. This said, D_TRB not only attracted social attention as a NEW THING, but also "thrilled" people to an extend that they started behaving in an "uncommon" for them way. Which also is a "hyper-productive." That's the point I would like to scrutinize, actually. 

Before we continue, I should enlist a couple of disclaimers: 1) This is not an academic research, this is a compendium of observations presented in a very essayistic manner; 2) I joined D_TRB on November 25, 2016. Thus, the preceding social dynamics will be overlooked; 3) Originally, the novelty effect focuses on social performance (i.e. the improvements in doing "routine" tasks caused by emergence of new technologies or experiences). I shall be focusing on changes in social behavior (i.e. increase of dynamics in social interactions, as well as change in their nature). 

By the end of the first week I have observed Three Waves of interactions (evolution?).

First Wave. As anticipated, the D_TRB launch caught enough attention and resulted in a huge inflow of new network users.  For instance, the JDM tribe almost doubled its membership (tribesmenship?): from 8.7K on Sunday's evening (27 November) to 14.3K on Thursday's morning (29 November). This said, majority of new users were simply joining all-tribes-possible and posting photos of their vehicles. A huge amount of "plagiarism" spread across my feed: same photos of the same vehicles in different tribes. Posting for the sake of posting. Posting for the sake of letting everyone know: "Look who's here! Look what I drive!"

The hyperinflated need for self-assertion in a new environment, reinforced by adventurist curiosity, - that what characterized the first wave of members. 

Second Wave. In a day or two, as it seems to me, the initial wave of newcomers went into decline. The post-eruptional environment became more organized. Users got a better grasp and started using D_TRB features in a more "professional" way... They started creating individual tribes. Massively. And here another issue emerged: only few of such tribes had original ideas behind them. Majority of tribes were quite "standard": supercars, daily drives, supercars, roads, vintage cars, supercars. Everywhere. "Plagiarism" was replaced by "poor paraphrasing": the same content under different tribal brands.

But these brands mattered! They were the feast of self-assertion! They provided social justification for tribe leaders to hit themselves in mighty torsos and shout aloud that they became dominant mammals! The issue was that these tribe leaders were the only to hear their shout in the fast growing jungles of petrolhead ecumene. 

Third Wave. The Super Heavyweight TRIBE Competition shook the D_TRB. This what I can also clearly observe in my feed. The temptation to work with Holy Trinity led to a cross-tribal re-posting. For instance, Legendary Speed re-posts Legendary Ride which in its turn re-post Legendary Memes. All three Legendary Tribes are led by one Legendary Leader. Other "major" tribes follow the same pattern. 

Being successful during the "third wave" requires a skillful strategic-and-tactical thinking. And dedication. And coordination. Tribe Leaders should popularize their tribes by - paradoxically - using competitive resources (that's apart from the FB, Twitter, subsidiary tribes, and other networks). They need to attract the "first wave users" and rocket the "bumping ratio" of their tribes up.

Amiable assertiveness is now on the rise in D_TRB. At least among those, who care. It poses a disastrous threat to the "second wave users". With every day their tribes become less and less competitive. This may cause a depression in some of dominant mammals. 

That's it for today. In my further researchers I'll try outlining the future dynamics of social interactions in D_TRB. I'll also address the applicability of Spiral of Silence Theory in the given environment, which seems to be promising.

Follow the Academic Driving and other related tribes for updates. 

P.S. Apparently, the above presented reflections should not be treated as an "ultimate science". For instance, one may theorize that the "first wave users" do re-posts to demonstrate their vehicles, not to promote "third wave" tribes. Or that the majority "first wave users" never switched to the "second wave". But as I said, this is not an academically profound research. Just reflections with some witty academic entourage. P.P.S. Clive Thompson's page: 

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Comments (5)

  • So, this is your first article. The moment to declare proudly: I read everything on Academic Driving! Btw, the progress you did from this article to what you publish now is immense!

      2 years ago
  • This should probably be your first article ever!

      2 years ago
  • "Posting for the sake of posting. Posting for the sake of letting everyone know: "Look who's here! Look what I drive!"

    I was swept off my feet crying "Hear, hear!"

      3 years ago