This is a long trip, nearly 5,000km. At the end, we will have travelled the full length of Norway and back again. It’s a mountainous and waterlogged country, where the infrastructure includes roads and trains, but also many bridges, tunnels and ferries. All of these go to make up the infrastructure, but they don’t create the community.
Tonight, I watched the captain of the ship standing sharing a cigarette with a fisherman on the pier. Infrastructure gives you the pier, the desire to share stories gives you community.
And that’s what we have to keep in mind when creating online learning spaces or communities of practice: infrastructure provides the space to talk, but people talk about things they are interested in. You can build infrastructure, but you can’t build community without conversation.
Heading North: the blog is nearing the end of a two week trip exploring the coast of Norway. Holidays are times to explore new things, so we may detour from normal service for a few days.