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Who do you want to be in a learning community?
It may be interesting to consider if the development of virtual communities is parallel to the development of other social networks and to cultures in general. Derek Wenmoth, an active blogger, suggests that people who participate in blogs evolve though four different phases as they gain understanding and confidence. His phases include:
- consumer: participants simply read and explore the posts of others;
- commentator: participants comment on others posts seeking clarification, agreeing with a statement, or offering a suggestion or link;
- contributor: participants who have started their own blogs or who initiate new threads or discussion forums;
- commentator: participants who take a 'meta' view of what is going on, providing a level of leadership within the community.
As you look at this classification, consider the questions: What phase are you most comfortable with? What might it take for you to progress through these phases in the context of this or other NINGs?