Seeking new Flame Warriors

Profundus Maximus vs Rottweiler Puppy

After a four year hiatus, one of the canons of Internet sociology is about to be updated with a Second Edition. Mike Reed tells us he is looking to refresh his illustrated guide to online personalites, Flame Warriors. The 49-page First Edition recorded for posterity - with unflinching detail and very acute observation - such types as Rottweiler Puppy and Profundus Maximus.

Beautifully illustrated by Reed himself, the guide picked out some of the strange alliances that take place, too.

"Rebel Warrior can usually count on Loopy in the early stages of the conflict and Sycophant once the revolution is well underway."

Or, "Profundus Maximus, Philosopher , Tireless Rebutter , and other verbose Warriors find Grunter a particularly exasperating opponent because he will answer their lengthy pontifications with a simple 'Yeah!'. 'Get a life', 'Whatever', 'I agree.' 'Wrong.', etc."

Elsewhere, we learn "Often Nanny becomes the unwitting ally to the intrigues of Rat and Crybaby." Very sharp.

Classifying the Warriors

With the first version already so exhaustive, we wondered, how could it be expanded? Reed tells us there's plenty more to come. "The types to be added run to an amazing variety, and I will get to them as the mood strikes and time allows."

"Many of the Warriors are too narrowly parsed and can be consolidated," he says, "while others may be separated in to more than one, e.g. Big Dog and Me-Too. I have an IMMENSE list of suggestions - literally hundreds. Out of those I've already culled at least 50 strong candidates. Many of the drawings need re-doing, the text needs an extensive edit and even the site could be improved - which is a LOT of work!"

And how will the new edition reflect the blogging era? Although some of today's blog warriors clearly map to existing Warrior archetypes, much of the participation is more remote and solitary: many webloggers don't have comments, or quickly remove them.

"Blogging is just another arena for the exhibition of old behavior," agrees Mike. "But it does have some subtleties that need to be addressed."

However, Mike reminds us that the success of the project owes much to your participation, as he depends on sales of Vol.I merchandise to keep it viable.

But that's cheaper, and more useful, than a hundred social software seminars, we reckon. Go help here. ®

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