Yesterday, Jim was rolling out an all-requests show on DS106, based on the theme "love and loss." I caught part of the show, and it was pretty amazing. Then, some requests came in and I complained.
I was a jerk. I apologize for complaining about the content of a user-powered freeform Internet radio phenomenon.
For freeform to be truly freeform, the community needs to feel able to experiment and play anything, without fear of judgement or condemnation. My snark broke that trust.
But, the thing about DS106 Radio is that even when I don't like or get the music that's being played, I love it because of what it means. Someone in the community chose (or made) a track, and said "hey! I should share this!" And they did. That's awesome, in the most non-ironic sense of the word.
In thinking about my snarky complaint, I started wondering about what people have told me about perceived barriers to participating in various online communities. About inner circles and statements perceived as jokes by some and insults by others. It's messy, confusing stuff. I imagine someone just coming to the DS106 community, seeing my complaining tweet, and feeling less willing to take a risk by contributing something to the stream.
Man, I hope that didn't/doesn't happen. The community is so incredible because so many different people take risks and share parts of themselves - even/especially people who are not originally "edubloggers."
I'll try to stifle my snark in the future. DS106 for life!