John Suler's The Psychology of Cyberspace

Meetings of the Palace User Group

Some members experience meetings of the Palace User Group (PUG) as rather chaotic. To me, they don't seem any more so than many a meeting I have attended in the real world. The visual structure of the room - a stage with neatly aligned rows of seats - helps provide structure and order to the meeting itself. In the picture above, people were encouraged to wear smileys in order to avoid large props that would cause crowding. I think everyone wearing the same prop also encouraged a feeling that status was being "equalized" and that "we are all the same here... we are all Palace Users." It probably encouraged group motivation, identification, and cooperation, rather strictly self-centered motivation. The picture below illustrates the use of a simple but effective visual tool for helping the meeting run smoothly - the use of the "Q" sign to indicate that one is "raising one's hand" and has a question or comment.

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