Our corp in EVE Online has been through an interesting growth phase. We had some issues, lost good people, owned 2 wormholes (a C2 and a C) and generally were spread too thin. The decision was made to close one of the two holes, sell the C2 and move everyone out to a new C4. Sounds easy in practice but it was a rather massive undertaking considering that we had 6 or so towers to tear down, shuttle everything out to high sec, find a new C4 and do it all again in reverse. It was weeks of “work” during which we made no ISK but the corp also lost a few haulers (Orcas even, one with a Tengu in the bay) and mood was pretty low.
I followed the Mittani Debacle from a distance and only with the occasional glance at the official forums. Basically, the man got drunk, said really dumb things, realized it, apologized and is now being burned at a stake Salem-style. No flame burns as hot as that of religious fury and the the witch hunt of the Mittani has drawn out the villagers, their torches and pitchforks. All, of course, in the righteous defense of a helpless and innocent victim of Mittani’s devilish schemes.
In the real world, satellite offices for large companies often have the highest productivity, best morale and attitude. But in badly run companies they are allowed to develop a very distinct culture that – if left unchecked – drifts them away from the heaquarters. I have noticed this in all large companies I have worked for or with, most of the time with/in their international sales and marketing groups, which are – by definition – geographically very spread out. The companies who were good at managing it were excellent, the ones who were poor went out of business or should have been. The only difference between the failed and the great companies were the frequent in person visits by the leaders, technical experts and the occasional regional or even global piss-up (err, Strategic Goal Setting Roundtable Convention, something like that). I want to stress, no amount of internet connectivity, no amount of “team” motivational structure and teleconferences can compensate for an afternoon with the team in a pub.
People routinely confuse the medical terms Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality disorder. Both are very serious conditions with millions of sufferers and limited treatment options. So, one should hope that most people who use the internet do not suffer from these conditions. However, I have read and heard too many times online people state that they adopt a different personality when online. This is mostly used as an excuse when a perfectly nice person turns into a raving psychopath as soon as she hits the keyboard. Whether or not the split of online and physical persona is sustainable in the long run where more and more of our real life moves online is a different discussion (I think, anonymity is overrated, privacy is underrated).
.. comes great responsibility. A saying attributed to Voltaire and widely used as a caution to the opposite side of the insight that ““Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” by Lord Acton. Both are written from the viewpoint of someone without power, of course and that is where the dichotomy lies. We are aware that power carries a burden but we seek it nonetheless.