Friday, August 17, 2007
Spying on Others
I am a gardenia......
During last week's illness (and before I killed off my old computer), the eLearning and technology blogs seemed like too much work for my fever-addled brain. I couldn't concentrate on my usual round of reading (news, sports, cooking). I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep.
I found myself reading fragrance blogs. (I can hear my friends sniggering in disbelief now....).
Please don't ask why. I occasionally find myself in the compulsive throes of odd research projects for no apparent reason. I've learned over the years to go with it.
The perfume / fragrance corner of the blogosphere share many of the same positive characteristics that the eLearning community share.
- They are very supportive of each other - bloggers regularly comment on each other's pages. The message boards and blogs are very inclusive with commenters and willingly define their lingo to any interested party.
- Their disagreements are respectful - the community members understand that scent perception is a very personal experience and respect those differences. (How dare you diss my beloved Shalimar you moron!)
- There are certain sites that serve as "community centers" for the group, and certain people who, however informally, facilitate conversation.
- They are absolutely passionate about their topic.
What impressed me about this group is that the community grew organically. No navel-gazing about "how am I going to build this community?" No introspection about "what is the appropriate way to move this conversation?" It just happens.
And the trigger - from what I can tell - is shared passion.
I suspect that this is what keeps our little corner of the world going. More than any analysis about "what makes community and how to build one."
Now if you'll excuse me - I have some samples to order.....
Picture from Marian's Mac Page (she's got some very nice flower pictures in here)