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Seeking new Flame Warriors

By Andrew Orlowski

The Register

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 donations to keep it viable.

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