Will Richardson's Business Model

Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, Aug 01, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am home from Bogota. Colombia is a fascinating country I will not soon forget, nor would I want to. Yes, there is poverty and crime, a lot, but the Colombia I saw is a whole lot more than that, as I will show you in the days ahead.

I talked with Diego a lot about this as we wandered through the back streets of the Candelaria (More). Appropriately, today seems to be about the corporate side of online learning. In this article, written this morning before following up on all the Blackboard kerfuffle, I wrote:

"The person who has cut into line ahead of you may appear to have gained something at your expense. My my belief is that a life led thusly is not one that profits. It is a life led solitary and alone. The essence of living in a community is to respect the interests, rights and desires of the other members. Those who disregard that essence soon find themselves excluded from the community, and from the benefits to be derived from the community."

This applies to people, it applies to corporations, and it applies to life. Blackboard's action tells us more about what sort of company Blackboard has become than anything else. Blackboard has turned its back on those who have built it up from scratch. It has embraced the corporate world and the corporate ethos. It's a sad and disgraceful day for learning.

Sorry about the typos. I'm jet-lagged, and I have mixed nuts in my keyboard, which is why my 8 key (among others) is stuck (the perils of travel on crowded airplanes).
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