The class ends but does the community?

MPPR850 is history as a class – but one has to wonder – is the same to be said for the community which grew up around it? We could all agree that a graduate level college class is a micro-community. Classes end on a pretty linear schedule. We’ve all been through the experience many times – last class – hang out together a little longer – stay in touch with a few people a while later – see others around campus at times etc.

Interesting thing though, this class. It was all about building a virtual, non-linear, online community. There was the physical community of a class meeting on M street in Georgetown, and then there was birthed a virtual community meeting online and through digital twittering whenever and wherever people were.

The physical community had an agenda, which was also the agenda that birthed the virtual community. That agenda has ended. But other agendas emerged – some about business plans to go 2.0, some about personal experiences of entering a new world of identity through new media, and some about age-old things like just enjoying hearing stories. There is that fascinating dynamic of hearing other points of view from people you respect – because you know them as people first with their worldviews coming second. What a concept – in Washington DC these days!

How much of that agenda might endure and cause parts of the community to endure? It will be interesting to see. It is obvious that the social media world we were immersed in and have swum in for three months will be a huge part of all business and organizations of the future. Professionally speaking, there is great value in continuing the swim.

Another thing I found myself in amazement at is part of the reason I decided to study at Georgetown. We were surrounded in our class by some phenomenal writers. To me our class was like a writers club on a metronome. Now the metronome is gone but I hate to see the writing stop. Maybe some of it won’t.

Garrett Graff’s goal was to get us totally immersed in Web2.0. It is fair to say that he did that. Might it be that the most enduring legacy of that experience is a community or communities that keep going?  Our own micro-community has become a marketplace of conversations that could possibly endure.

But hey, there are no rules for bloggers!  (Except for Scoble’s of course!)

Just pondering here.

5 thoughts on “The class ends but does the community?

  1. Good questions Alan. I’d like to think that everyone in class would keep blogging, and through that in some small way we’re all still connected. I love our little community and hope to see it continued even though we won’t see each other every Wednesday on M St.

  2. I will stay around if you will! I agree with rosie, this is well said and I hope that it only gets better and more indepth… now we can really write whatever we want. huh?

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