The US is more powerful than the YOU

There’s been some talk around groups in the blogosphere. Some really good discussion happening over on Bud the Teacher’s blog. David Jakes had a great post as well.

What’s got me thinking about groups is it’s the US that makes this place powerful not the YOU. Does Time Magazine have it wrong?

The YOU, to me, is the people that use these great tools. If you use wikipedia, read blogs, watch YouTube videos. That’s the you, the you that uses the knowledge and entertainment.

The US are the creators. Those who edit wikipedia, write the blogs, and create the videos. All of this is done in a collaborative, connected group and sub-group world.

I belong to many different groups in this connected world and there are sub groups within those groups. My groups look something like this.

  • Educator
    • International Educator
      • Technology Specialist
  • Blogger
    • Educational Blogger
      • edtech blogger
      • techlearning blog
      • nextgenteachers blog
      • utechtips.com blog
  • Baseball Fan
    • Seattle Mariners
  • Basketball Fan
    • Gonzaga Bulldogs

I can keep going but hopefully you get the point. Just because I belong to one group does that mean I can not belong or take part in the larger group?

Let’s take nextgenteachers.com as an example. Yes, it is a group of bloggers/teachers coming together to talk and discuss technology in education. We are a group, but we still all have our own voices in the large group of the edblogosphere. At the same time I can still be part of the techlearning blog. A group with a different mission, different audience. Does that make one group better than another? I’d argue no, just different.

Just because I belong to a group of baseball fans that follows the Seattle Mariners, does that mean I can’t appreciate baseball as a sport? Follow baseball as a sport, as a season?

We join or form groups because we like communicating with people or find people that have things in common with us.

I created the blog utechtips.com and made it a group blog by inviting people to post and be contributors to the growing knowledge there. The site is now a group of 5, all of us from my school here. We are a group who all have something in common. We love tech and we all work at Shanghai American School. That’s not to say the group won’t change. The love tech part I’m sure will always be there, but the all working at the same school is soon to change as we move to other schools and other voices are added.

What is the down side to groups? Some people think they become to exclusive, and maybe they can. But if you want to start a group you should have a say to who is included. What’s the harm in that? If Women of the Web2.0 want to be a group of women…good on them. I don’t have to listen to them if it bothers me that much, I don’t have to give them my hit, my bandwidth, my time. But I for one like the group, like what they talk about, and like their angle. That’s why I listen to them. If I never become a part of that group, it’s OK with me…maybe the groups not right for me.

If you don’t want to join a group….what ever it might be…that’s fine….but don’t tell me I can’t like the Mariners because they came in last place, or first place. It’s not dividing the conversation it’s creating new conversations, new angles, new approaches and that is always a good thing!

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2 Comments

  1. Well said.

    And that shot of the Great Wall is awesome, although I do miss the thinking stick.

    Dave

  2. Very well said Jeff! :-)

    Just because Stephen Downes said something about networks vs groups, everyone likes to jump on the bandwagon, tut, and shake their fingers and heads.

    Well done for clarifying this and showing how natural it is for human beings to organize themselves according to interest, age, speciality, talents, etc.

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