". . .at any one time a group can be analysed as operating at two levels: it is a sophisticated group (or work group) met to perform an overt task; and it is a basic group, acting on one of three covert basic assumptions (fight-flight, dependence and pairing(, to which its individual members contribute anonymously and in ways of which they are not consciously aware." (Eric Miller, 1993. From Dependency to Autonomy: Studies in Organization and Change. p. 6).

although the recent discussion is interesting, I don't think it is work toward our primary task.
Maybe there is a difference (as Lawrence & Robinson, 1975 in Miller, 1993, p. 17 suggest) between the "normative" primary task (defined by a superordinate authority, ); the "existential" primary task (which each of us as individual believe we are carrying out), and the 'phenomenal' primary task which we are actually engaged in, though this may not be in conscious awareness?
We simply never agreed that we had to keep our noses to the grindstone here.
Isn't one symptom of a lack of consensual purpose, the occurrence of factionalization and polarization in the group? Does that not lead to separation strategies being proposed?
"Do we want more structure and planning in this list or would that make it too much like work?"
It's sad that we all can't communicate on the same channel. I do wonder why you chose "mutual masturbation" as the analogy for what I presume you mean to be "mutual respect."
I use the word "work" alot. I do view this as work.. . . The entertainment value was always secondary for me
Jung would tell us that the Sensors on the list would tend to support working hard and methodically in some structured way to achieve the objectives of the list. Intuitors would tend to support a more passive approach that scans for meaning in the whole of the experience. Perspiration versus inspiration.
I notice for all the value of task-oriented activity, very few back-channel driven or otherwise-in-this-public-space-driven projects have been brought to a conclusion.
The Bionic (with Kleinian implications) approach as presented by its advocates here was dripping with a heavy condemning kind of moralism. Bion had us fighting and flighting and depending and all sorts of bad stuff. I felt a lot of pressure to speak "feelingspeak" using just the right words, because if the phraseology wasn't exactly party line it was a defense, or worse, intellectual. In Marvin's subgrouping, we were coming close to being limited to who we could even talk to without endangering the survival and growth of the group. Talk about control by guilt trip. And what if we were a good group and did it all right (which never happened)? Then we got to WORK. What a reward. Why not just move in with the Puritans, don black clothes and and pray for God to deliver us into drudgery.
I think the real task here, needs to be more grounded in 'reality', probably something along the lines of how each one of us are learning to intergrate this media into our daily lives and discovering how and what we really want to use this for, being education, escape(fantasy), entertainment, or whatever or all of the above. As such, we represent a multitude of individuals (in pursuit of individual tasks) who just happen to be here at this PLACE
However, these same models don't seem to hold here. There may indeed be a task here -- but not a "group task" -- rather, a collection of individual tasks which this gathering promotes (educative, fantasy, entertainment and others not otherwise specificed):
Now, OTOH, as I have mentioned previously, there is the possibility persons could join together to agree on a GROUP objective and make the attempt to accomplish it outside of this public space and bring the results back into the space for Stephen the one man peanut gallery to respond to. This is a simple solution to the problem of trying to construct boundaries in a place where people can walk through walls.
Spoilsports interpret group dynamics to a bunch of friends who are sharing stories. A bunch of friends sharing stories, conversely, are defending against the group task. Why is it hard to be friendly AND interpret group dynamics at the same time?

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