2235: Group Chat Rules
|Group Chat Rules
Title text: There's no group chat member more enigmatic than the cool person who you all assume has the chat on mute, but who then instantly chimes in with no delay the moment something relevant to them is mentioned.
1. Once you've sent a typing notification, you have to say something, c'mon.
Typing notification, often called a "typing awareness indicator," is a feature of some instant messaging systems, showing a message such as "Typing..." with the typer's name to the other participants, causing them in many cases to wait to receive the message before typing something of their own. When the typer stops without sending anything, this can seem anticlimactic and potentially disruptive if it recurs. Randall's rule is that you must say something once you've started typing, to avoid the awkwardness of awaiting a person's reply. See also 1886: Typing Notifications.
2. Show you care by trimming the tracking junk off links you paste.
Some URL links may have tracking information attached to the end of them, to show the origin of the URL and other information. UTM parameters are an example of URL parameters (the part of a URL starting with a question mark) which are used to track utilization of the URL from one user to another. Many news and marketing-related websites include such tracking codes with any visit to one of their web pages in an attempt to see the source of the URL for subsequent visits. Many people consider this a violation of privacy as well as a source of clutter, and make an effort to remove the parameters from URLs when they are not necessary for obtaining the requested content. For example, this url has a lot of tracking information to show that it was originally accessed from Slickdeals, which can be removed to produce a much shorter URL for the same web page. Randall asks the users of group chat to politely remove the tracking code, though other parameters may be involved in an important non-tracking way (such as the lat, lon and zoom level giving the focus of a Google Map link) and it isn't always obvious which parts are which - or both tied together!
3. Do not talk about Fight Club (1999).
This is a reference to the 1999 film Fight Club, where the main character forms an eponymous "Fight Club," an underground club for men to fight recreationally. In the rules for Fight Club the first and second "rules" are "You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.", which Randall parodies in this comic, by making a rule to not talk about the film Fight Club and placing this rule third in the list. See also 922: Fight Club and 109: Spoiler Alert.
4. There are two types of chats: those with a relevant group name, and those where the name is random nonsense that changes regularly. Only the second kind are good.
Some group chats frequently change the name of their title or the names of their channels, for example to reference upcoming events or inside jokes, or to reflect the topic of the current conversation. Often, these names do not get changed back until someone decides to change it to a new inside joke/etc. Randall claims that those are the only good kind, compared to those that never change group names, perhaps implying a singular focus is less interesting than a dynamic chat that often changes names.
5. When mentioning it elsewhere, always just refer to it as "the group chat" to create an aura of exclusive mystery.
Many people have to deal with several kinds of group chat in the same organization, so referring to "the group chat" within such an organization may be confusingly ambiguous. Also, calling a chat "the group chat" can serve to exclude those who don't already know about it.
6. Robert's Rules of Order are optional but encouraged.
Robert's Rules of Order are one of the authoritative codifications of parliamentary procedure used to formalize decision-making in organizations required to document their activities such as governments and sometimes civic organizations and corporations. While people required to use Robert's Rules might use group chat to plan their agenda — even going so far as to prepare a pro forma script for a meeting in accordance with parliamentary procedure which represents their positions and deliberations in advance — and to compose, revise, and approve their minutes, it is unlikely that group chat participants would follow Robert's Rules prior to their formal meeting.
7. Periodically part of the group will split off to form a new chat with everyone minus one person. This is how group chats reproduce; don't draw attention to it.
Some people who use group chat too frequently or for unimportant messages or both will cause their colleagues to attempt to achieve greater productivity by excluding them from an alternate chat, from which notifications, for example, are less annoying and more useful. Alternatively, a person could be excluded from a chat to hide things from them, such as to plan a surprise for them, or because that one person has been disruptive or annoying to the point that everyone else wants to continue the conversation without their continued input. It appears that the chat is a honey bee hive reproducing by swarming. When purposely excluding someone by creating a new group, you would probably not want them to know you have done so as they might otherwise attempt to re-join in the new chat; that's likely the real reason one should not talk about or draw attention to the fact that it happened.
8. Since there's no algorithmic feed, the responsibility for injecting lots of garbage no one asked for falls on you.
Tools such as IFTTT and IRC bots (or "bots" in this context) are used to provide group chat channels with information automatically taken from external sources of various sorts, such as emails to a support address or commits to source code control systems. Randall suggests that when such algorithmically-provided information is not available, it is incumbent upon chat participants to provide sufficiently verbose replacements. The "algorithmic feed" may also refer to the newsfeed type of systems that Facebook or other social networking sites use, to order posts for a user to view.
9. The enumeration, in these rules, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This is a reference to the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reserves the various natural rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Per Wikipedia, this right was included because "future generations might argue that, because a certain right was not listed in the Bill of Rights, it did not exist." The Ninth Amendment was also referenced in 1998: GDPR.
10. Sorry about all the notifications.
Here, Randall apologizes for all the notifications for the messages sent in group chat. Group chat features often result in more notifications than designers of notification systems anticipated or intended. If each of these ten rules were sent as a separate message in group chat, they might likely end with such an apology.
The title text expresses appreciation (and perhaps amazement) for group chat participants who remain silent except for promptly replying on topics pertinent to them.
- [Title at the top of the comic]:
- Rules for this group chat
- [A numbered list of 10 rules]:
- Once you've sent a typing notification, you have to say something, c'mon.
- Show you care by trimming the tracking junk off links you paste.
- Do not talk about Fight Club (1999).
- There are two types of chats: those with a relevant group name, and those where the name is random nonsense that changes regularly. Only the second kind are good.
- When mentioning it elsewhere, always just refer to it as "the group chat" to create an aura of exclusive mystery.
- Robert's Rules of Order are optional but encouraged.
- Periodically part of the group will split off to form a new chat with everyone minus one person. This is how group chats reproduce; don't draw attention to it.
- Since there's no algorithmic feed, the responsibility for injecting lots of garbage no one asked for falls on you.
- The enumeration, in these rules, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
- Sorry about all the notifications.
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