Welcome on board and greetings from a rainy Germany.See you around,Erkan YILMAZ
Hi ErkanGood to hear from you. I have only been to Germany once but have ambitions to visit there again. To add a little more about myself, I am a PhD student and have spent most of my work life in education - which classifies me as a `mature student'. I like travel and meeting people. I especially like the online thing!
My ideas of online community are based on the suggested texts. I like to watch people having fun on the net. I envy them the time. However, I notice that older people are leading and analysing this at university level - not the natives but the immigrants - so much for Prensky, Oblinger et al. I wish sometimes that the long winded presenters on Eluminate and YouTube would be a bit more brief, or would at least summarise their points in ten sentences! I agree that close social relationships are important when blogging and that our ability to be close in the virtual medium is limited to a few people, fewer than the 150 people Pesce mentions when describing Dunbar's number. I do think that, for study purposes, the virtual group is connected by a common purpose. Individuals need to build a sense of online identity to stay with it. A sense of social cohesion is also needed as a prerequisite on which to build other goals, ie social presence as discussed by Terry Anderson et al or Gilly Salmon. In these days of short lived groups where the boundaries are impermanent, the group may disperse once the common goal is achieved. For that reason I don't think we always have the time to learn through apprenticeship as Wenger has suggested. We need to be told! I also agree that the social sharing culture is embedded in the background. However, we cannot assume that everyone wants to participate. Some people just like to chill out and be silent partners.Three things that make community:1) Promoting a social sharing culture 2) Having a common purpose2) Not trying to impose things like royalties, big business or government controls, but relying on people themselves creating and using an internalised sense of self control for the greater good.