I published my last post in a bit of hurry because my battery was dying. When I read it again this morning I realized that I hadn’t quite finished my thoughts on the Joe Firestone – ActKM story.
I said that maybe the ActKM wasn’t the right place, or this isn’t the right time, for the ideas that Joe Firestone and Mark McElroy were putting forth. Like any type of group, in any field of endeavor, this group has spoken and decided they wanted to exclude someone. It happens every day. It is unfortunate in most cases, but especially so in this case because I think the theory and idea that Joe and Mark put forth are very valuable.
I can’t speak to whether their ideas are valid or not, because I’ve not had a chance to go through them in detail. But they are definitely worth considering. By consciously excluding these ideas, the group at ActKM seems to be saying, “We know what we’re doing, we don’t need your ideas because they don’t meet with what we already know and want to know.” Which is unfortunate and seems to go against the very ideals of things like knowledge management, learning organizations, etc.
I’m not sure how well I’ve made it, but my point through all of this is that in many ways communities online seem to follow many of the same “rules” of community offline. It all comes down to establishing a lot of connections in the beginning and maintaining only those connections that demonstrate their value. Just like in the offline world, sometimes communities make the right choice and sometimes they don’t.