Here's a thought-provoking post by Chris Dorr on indie film and network effects (in case you didn't already see it featured on the Truly Free Film blog). Film people talk a lot about transparency these days, but they rarely consider its implications beyond making the folks at companies who require discretion with numbers vaguely uneasy.
Chris' suggests that thorough, generous transparency (like that offered by James Cooper with his kickstarterforfilmmakers project) if continuously offered and collected by an active community (still grappling with that word) has powerful potential to create a network effect. This (very) basically means that the more transparent information is offered by the participants of the network, the smarter, more powerful and more attractive the network becomes.
The obvious questions remain: what does this network look like? What are the online tools available to facilitate such a network?
In a class I took at ITP on online communities, our lovely teacher Kristen Taylor/kthread would systematically bring us back to the question "Communities run on...?" Love, passion, connection, purpose, and other such adequate-verging-on-necessary answers came up often. I don't think that transparency is a requisite community engine, but I think the implications of its employment for a network of film fans and makers are exciting and require further examination. I'm on it!
What else do (online film) communities run on?