Friday, November 14, 2014

Marking Your Territory

Why Territory Marking?

In life we have boundaries and territories in which we can identify as being owned by something or someone else. Animals frequently will mark their territory with their urine or scent in order to show dominance to trespassers who intentionally or unwittingly fall into their domain.
Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Animals that intentionally wander into these domains will also mark this territory with their own urine. This way to challenge or acknowledge in some respect the ownership of the original territory. If they acknowledge the territory as not theirs, usually they will leave. If they wish to challenge they will wander farther into it.

Humans are also animals, and we still mark our territories but a little differently of course. We see this game of marking the territory clearly and in abundance within the depths of the internet. Two groups of opposition seek to gain as much ground as they can in reference to forums or online communities that are friendly towards them.

This marks a chess game of sorts where piece position matters. Territory of more important value is fought over in order to control more of the board. It must be remembered however that chess is a two dimensional game. Political intrigue with its aspect of board position and marking is much more advanced.

Territory Marking In Action

Let me give an example of political marking in regards to two internet forum environments. Lets say that Group A and Group B are in direct opposition to each other. Lets not worry about the why these two are at each other's throats just take into account there is no love lost between them. Also understand that these two forums hold similar goals or standpoints. Therefore those forums they might frequent hold a similar interest for each of them.

What this all means is each of them will be wanting to participate and be well known in any other outside forums that they see of value. The fact that these two groups cannot co-exist means that only one group may have the opportunity to be involved with individuals outside forums. This presents an interesting race. One of which I have enjoyed observing in some manner, but I will get to that later.
In one scenario Group A has come into a forum and posts fairly regularly. They have become friends with the management, and even might have been given a staff position. This would be a most formidable way to mark a forum. If Group B comes in poking around it would be very hard to remain, for Group A has the power to defend its position with both its staff placement and loyal friends in the staff beside them. Group B would have to retreat, else be locked out, or even both.

Now lets switch things up a bit. Lets say that Group A was a frequent visitor but had no staff position, and no real friends in the territory. This would mean more or less the position they occupy though perhaps better dug in would still be more or less a neutral position. Group B could come in and participate in order to refute the marking that Group A had already stuck on this particular forum. Depending on the administration in this particular forum either side would either have to behave or one of them would get thrown out. Thus by default the remaining Group would be the victor. We need to also take into account that one side may just willing give up ground that is not important or essential for any real victory. No campaign is worth fighting unless there is a distinct advantage in winning it. Remember we want advantageous board position. We want decent favorable contacts. If these things cannot be with this said forum and its management gained then there is no sense in fighting for them.  Let the other Group waste its time.
As we can see there can be thousands if not an infinite number of scenarios which can be made up or in actual play. I think you all get the idea though. This aspect of territory marking makes up an interesting and fun game in which I have done quite a bit of work with. As I am sure others of you have as well though perhaps you haven't seen it exactly in the way that I have presented this. I know it might upset some of you and I wouldn't want that, well honestly I don't care any longer, but I have to say that I have seen no real gains in winning. Truly there has been no advantage in having the upper hand over Group B other than a little satisfaction that if I put my mind to it I can and have outplayed them every time. The forum I have in mind has not had people in which courting them completely has made any real difference over a long space of time. There is truly no defeat because anyone can pick up a new name and start over. This makes it all the more interesting because it proves to serve as an ideal training grounds.

I would warn anyone however in the same tactics offline. Offline is where it counts. You may not ever get any kind of second chance, indeed your first chance may prove have put you in a position that given your limitations you may never be able to conquer anything more than delusions of self worth. Those that are capable of gaining offline will end up being the victors. However once again online forums can prove to be a most amusing game.