Posted in Communications, Connectivism, editorial rant, engagement, learning network, social media, society, Uncategorized, weakenesses

Is it the technology, or the community it enables?

stop worshipping the tech

I know I’m being subtle… but I think that we get hung up on the technology of things.

The medium does not create the activity or content; any more then pen and paper makes the user into Renaissance-era genius.

[su_box title=”example:: PLN – Personal Learning Networks” box_color=”#24a2b7″]There is no technology required for this. Seriously. And its been going on for centuries using whatever was around at the time.

Does Twitter/Facebook/Linked-In/Ning/etc help?

Sure, but only in that they are potentially good conduits, containers or media for the actual activity of sharing ideas and half-boiled philosophies.

Cafès, bars/taverns, newsletters, letters, symposiums, conferences, telephones, telegraph, clay tablets, and the pony express, have also been used in this capacity.[/su_box]

There seems to be a pervading ‘build it, and they will come’ belief…
field of dreams quote

… that by putting community-able technologies before learners (or indeed workers, experts, researchers) that they will suddenly begin sharing their work and ideas, get good feedback, and coagulate around worthy projects. And then we turn into Google and make lots of kudos and money off it! Hurrah!


Is that actually what happens?


After being told since we were children to keep our ideas to ourselves, not to share answers we have found, others are out to steal, and then profit, from our brilliance… is there really any wonder why so many find it difficult to learn and work openly?

[su_box title=”example:: in the mind of Soozie” box_color=”#2481b7″]Before I entered the workforce in the 90’s, this is the type of business/corporate story that I was familiar with…

All of them telling me:

  • Business people are secretive, vindictive, cruel and hostile
  • Bosses and coworkers will steal ideas
  • Bosses will actively work to keep me down
  • Businesses are happiest when enslaving others
  • If you have a good idea, keep it quiet!
  • As a woman, it is worse! (I won’t be focusing on gender in this post)
  • Never trust an identical twin (I’ll leave this one for my shrink)

My maternal family were heavily involved in the Union movement, and my paternal family were inventors-engineers who also had a dislike for anything that resembled management. And I have ADHD.

All these things combined mean that I have always found it very difficult to give people respect or trust, especially when based around positional power.

Distrust, fear, and mutinous mindsets have ruined so many good things that serendipity has been bringing to my door over and over throughout the years.

Enough of the navel-gazing!

Using me as an example of a messed up Gen-X creative worker… putting Basecamp, or SalesForce, or any of the other varieties of community-centred technology in front of staff with that amount of experience and training in distrust would not end in the glorious image of the Renaissance cafè, brewing innovation.

cafe revolution

What is the solution?

Here are some ideas – click to explore further…

Jarche - trust




-~Authenticity, Creativity, Community~- - eLearning Consultant & Trainer & Superhero - User Interface & Course specialist for Moodle & Totara LMS - I also enjoy researching into the Humanities - esp Cultural Studies, the Arts&Crafts Movement, and Medieval Guilds - warning: my hair colour changes a lot -

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