Community vs Networks

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We really do seem to have some confusion between the two terms - Community and Networks. Community being something which, when asked of a search tool, will return a list of geographic web sites that are usually government orientated; unless you put in Community wikipedia, where one is directed to a definition, "A community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment", which in our case is based around a tool called wiki.

But we know the tools are not all that important. They're just means to an end. The problem in a community is always in finding out, and agreeing upon, what those ends may be. The Content of a shared environment - and gaining its understanding through communication - is the beginnings of a community. I guess that's why we're all here. Wikis enable us to compile content quickly, easily and simply, and then communicate what we mean using tools like chat, google groups, etc. This environment offers communities a way to build and share virtual libraries and virtual classrooms.

On the other hand we have networks, which in the .edu space will normally terminate in this list. Networks, if its relevant meaning (around here) is to be understood as a thing separated from community, might be best described as an autonomous system.

The problem we do have is that in a globalizing world, full of international groups, committees, projects, etc, these autonomous systems are so autonomous that the global groups can't easily find their relevant community. The networks have been built to support National institutions, so they're having a hell of a time understanding what is meant by next generation networks. This mashup between National Networks and Global Communities is leading towards the development of new models like Grid computing (sharing CPU's) and P2P (sharing files), or most likely, some combination that extracts the best of both.

Now yu might be wondering why I'm making the point. The reason is I can't see any progress here until wikieducator is hosted on a number of NRENs. The idea is that our community is responsible for the content and some very bright (NREN) geeks are responsible for helping to improve our global (virtual) environments, and the communications between "our" environment and others. And if we're looking at this for wikieducator, we ought to look at the Wikimedia Foundation sponsored sites. After all, we are talking about the same global communities. Comments? --Simonfj 22:27, 20 January 2008 (CET)

Simonfj (talk)21:27, 20 January 2008