CCK08: Week 5: Are Collectives more predominate than networks?

This weeks reading on networks, collectives, and groups made me realize networks may not be true “networks” as some might suggest. A network is ever changing, growing, contracting, depending on peoples level of interest. So should networks be drawn with connectors with no node at the end, just waiting for the next node to join? ie person 1—-person 2—–?

Further, Since no network could document all of humanity, aren’t networks just collectives writ large? Networks are people linked sometimes tenously, but by a common subject. For example, the SARS outbreak network. There were many different organizations with people in them where the communication passed despite hierarchical lines of communication. But the subject that joined them all was SARS. When SARS was over, how quickly did the network come down? Some people stay in the SARS network and likely work in it to this day, but for the rest, wasn’t it just a collecrive.

This is what I was hinting at in my CKK08 Moodle Forum post about there being any good collectives in history. The Soviets organized collectives around agricultural production. They seemed to have worked. Or did the lack of land ownership provide a disincentive to work? Perhaps the quota system worked?

I understand networks exist for each different subject that we encounter. A concept map for myself might have hunderds of networks classified with some people appearing in more than one network. For example, Stephen Downes appears in my “network” for CKK08, DNDLearn Conference (RMC’s LMS system) for the presentation he gave last January 2008 in Cornwall Ontario, and he appears in a network for a project I am working on currently (Stephen doesn’t know it yet, I just haven’t established the connection yet! We are only in the planning stage). I think these networks are actually collectives becasue each had a specific focus and purpose which has ended or will end. I entered at a certain point, and I left at a certain point as per Dron and Andersons description, page 3. Now, my participation in CCCK08 will last until the end of the course becasue I paid to take it, however, ther are other sthat joined int he disucsison sooner before Sept 8 and other that will continue after. I may be one of the afters. Stephn particpated in the DNDLearn conference before i did, and is likely still carrying on conversations with some participants – I am not. So, do we spend most of our time in collectives and not networks?



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