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March 20, 2006


Michael Barbour

Okay, this is fine and good, but let's face it... Unlike in Field of Dreams, if we build it they won't necessarily come.

AECT has listserves for communication purposes that have largely gone unused. AECT divisions have blogs with RSS feeds that largely go unread.

Graduate Students make up one of the single biggest blocks of AECT's membership, yet when I gave up maintaining "The Program" blog it died altogether. No one or group of individuals were willing to keep it going.

Just because we build it, it doesn't mean they will come. One of the negative aspects of Roger's early adopters (and I think we can all agree that we fall into that category) is that they adopt and use things that get pushed off to the side before they gain acceptance outside of those early adopters.

It is one thing for us to anticipate, but the fact of the matteris that we have got to provide things that they (i.e., the membership) will use - which I would imagine means things that they already know how to and use as a part of their regular routine.


Roy Jenkins

Exactly, Mike! If we simply bring all the tools being used into one portal and offer the members' institutions an opportunity to receive 80% off what they might be paying for the services elsewhere, we (the AECT) would net many times our current membership in users who would begin to associate themselves with the tools and then the organization as it became more and more relevant to their daily activities (which is exactly what an organization should be to its members). Certainly open-source systems would play an increasingly important role, but the richest toolsets for online communications don't have any competition from open source yet. I'm working on getting a group together to develop advanced systems in open source.


Roy may be right.

It's not something MY institution would adopt because, frankly, they're not spending the money now so they'd not see it as a 80% savings but a 20% increase in expenses that they don't see the value of to begin with.

But my institution is probably strange that way.

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