Participating in an Online Community~Week 2, Post 2

Disclaimer: This post is part of course requirements following this assignment: Extend your identity in the direction of your career
path and participate in a new online community. Interact online using your projected identity for at least six weeks. Think deeply about identity and learning and blog twice a week about your experience. Take time to analyze the meaning, power, and constraints of the community on your learning. This post updated on October 18, 2013.


Week 2 Continued

I found an informative study by M. McLure Wasko and S. Faraj that researches why people are reluctant to divulge information online. Wasko and Faraj  test their hypothesis “that knowledge can also be considered a public good, owned and maintained by a community.” Their study is titled, “It is what one does”: why people participate and help others in electronic communities of practice and here is the link to this study.

The Sci-Fi Discussion Group is a robust community with frequent postings, interesting topics, quick response by the moderators, and encouragement. As a newbie, I felt welcomed and encouraged with almost immediate responses to my Introduction and request for science fiction titles to read. They never displayed judgment at my lack of experience with their favorite literary genre of science fiction. They encouraged me to read additional titles and I have added them to my Goodreads bookshelf. They have also invited me to join their monthly book club which, for September, is reading “Brave New World.”

I wanted to increase my interaction with the Sci-Fi Discussion Group. My motivation is based on wanting to reciprocate for the attention and posts I’ve received. My experience somewhat reiterates Wasko and Faraj’s conclusion, “When knowledge is considered a public good, knowledge exchange is motivated by moral obligation and community interest rather than by narrow self-interest.” I can’t say that I felt a moral obligation to participate, but I did feel community interest and an interest in participating.

Checking in today on the progress of my Discussion post thread suggesting a theme topic to include in the Themes Discussion Board in the Sci-Fi Discussion Group from my post earlier in the week. I was disheartened that my I had not received an email notifying me of any responses to my suggestion. When I logged-in to the group I saw that my post had not posted after all. I must have written it in Sunday’s blog post and neglected to copy and paste it to the group board. It is difficult to embody Jenkins “participatory media” when I don’t participate!

Absentmindedness seems to be a recurring theme for me this week as I have already left an email I thought I sent on the screen of my home computer, only to find it when I returned from work and I forgot neglected to pay an online bill that I marked “paid.” A quick search of Wenger’s name and “absentmindedness” rendered no results so there is no curricular adaptation that I can make.

I quickly upload my post and respond to a couple of threads by others in the community. I also feel an obligation to reply to the book suggestions from my fellow community members.


Book Sources:

Jenkins, Henry (2008-09-01). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (Kindle Locations 3040-3041). NYU Press. Kindle Edition.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice, learning, meaning, and identity. (1st ed. ed.). Cambridge Univ Pr.

Study Source: Wasko, Molly McLure and Faraj, Samur (2000).  It is what one does”: why people participate and help others in electronic communities of practice. The Journal of Strategic Information SystemsVolume 9, Issues 2–3, September 2000, Pages 155–173.