Will the “real” community please stand up?

Something Stephen said in a recent post has had me thinking quite a bit lately (and I’m too lazy to go find the post again now, doubtless someone will point it out in the comments). Stephen commented that he was “glad to see David [me] reaching out to the learning objects community.” It was such an interesting comment because I considered myself deeply entrenched in the learning objects community.

Until three weeks ago, however, I would have said that main players in the LO community were Wayne Hodgins, Erik Duval, Philip Dodds, Dan Rehak, Eric Roberts, Dexter Fletcher, Mimi Recker, David Merrill, Bill Blackmon, Nina Passini, and others. So I wonder… why doesn’t Stephen think this same group of folks is “the learning objects community”? Is it because they don’t blog?

At the same time, I’m working with several people interested in facilitating free and open learning opportunities, like Anne Margulies, Marshall (Mike) Smith, and others involved in the OCW, OKI, EduCommons, OpenContent, and Creative Commons projects. Yet, I feel like we’re on the outside of the open-education things going on in the learning-tech-blogging community.

Am I just whining about being the last kid to be picked for the ball team? No. It just seems strange to me that in a space so small there could be room for completely distinct groups who feel like they are “the” community, and are working fairly independently of each other on similar goals, using similar terms, and similar approaches. I wonder how we will all manage to work together… I’m sure we will, eventually. And great things will happen.