I have been thinking about community, context, content, conversation, building trust over the last couple of days and a foray into the blogosphere has thrown up some great conversations, discussions, posts on the same.
Let me start with Harold Jarche's post on the same. Harold believes and I tend to agree with him that if you were to be an eLearning company, you should be very interested in finding ways to connect people and address their learning and performance needs rather than be focussed on developing content, or selling learning objects.
He concludes that "..content is not king. Context may be important, but community is the new king (queen, ace, or whatever you prefer). The next ultimate learning solution may be the ability to link trusted experts with novices and help communities of practice to develop. Blogs may be a precursor, and the next technology to exploit this could be an eBay model that allows for apprenticeship in a virtual, caring environment."
Coming to Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine who says "Distribution is not king. Content is not king. Conversation is the kingdom...In our media 2.0, web 2.0, post-media, post-scarcity, small-is-the-new-big, open-source, gift-economy world of the empowered and connected individual, the value is no longer in maintaining an exclusive hold on things. The value is no longer in owning content or distribution. The value is in relationships. The value is in trust..."
Jeff adds, "...But in this new age, you don’t want to own the content or the pipe that delivers it. You want to participate in what people want to do on their own. You don’t want to extract value. You want to add value. You don’t want to build walls or fences or gardens to keep people from doing what they want to do without you. You want to enable them to do it. You want to join in.
And once you get your head around that, you will see that you can grow so much bigger so much faster with so much less cost and risk.
So don’t own the content. Help people make and find and remake and recommend and save the content they want. Don’t own the distribution. Gain the trust of the people to help them use whatever distribution and medium they like to find what they want."
So finally if content is not king, conversation is the new kingdom and if trust and community are the new kings, then who are the players who will shape the tools we now use and bring newer, better integrated tools to our disposal. My bet is companies like Pune, India based Krawler Networks, and creator of Krawler [x]. According to their website..."Krawler [x] is a full-fledged tool to create, share, search and securely manage communities and content – stuff like Office Documents, Presentations, Help-files & Tutorials, Assignments, Project Data, Whitepapers etc. Krawler[x] lets you create your own personal secure social network right from your desktop.
Web-based Social Networks have been around for quite some time. Krawler[x] takes social networking to the next logical step. It lets you build on it. Krawler[x] provides an interface to find and interact with people who are part of a community, not necessarily bound by Geographic or Institutional boundaries. Krawler[x] lets you share your knowledge. Right from your desktop..."