Visitor/resident – some further thoughts

I can’t make up my mind whether I’m a visitor or resident. As Dave White says in his presentation its not a dichotomy – but rather a duality (which is very much Wenger’s approach to communities of practice). In his presentation Dave makes some comments that I have been thinking about:

Visitors leave no trace – my feeling is that this is not possible. Maybe they hope to leave no trace. I can see that they could leave an absolutely minimal trace, but not no trace. It’s a bit like when someone briefly enters a meeting and leaves quickly – their leaving and absence still affects the meeting. In relation to this, I believe that ‘lurkers’ can affect what is going on through their absence.

Visitors worry about identity theft – I would say that visitors might worry about identity full stop, particularly if the visitors are novices. In fact isn’t it possible that visitors may be visitors not by choice but because they are novices in the online environment.

Residents try to keep visible by continually feeding the machine – have residents subjected themselves to the ‘tyranny of participation?’

Remaining visible is important for residents – Why? What is in it for them, particularly if a lot of what they post is banal? Isn’t being perceived of as banal counterproductive?

The word ‘nebulous’ can be used to describe residents – Dave didn’t talk about this and I’m not sure what this means.

A resident is less likely to have their own blog – this seems to contradict the research that John, Roy and I did where we equated residency (we called this a ‘home’) to a blog. This brings up the complexity of the way in which we use language and metaphors to describe the way in which people learn and interact online.

The visitor is no more or less technically adept than the resident – this depends on whether the visitor is a visitor by choice

Visitors take an individual approach to working online – I don’t see an individual approach or autonomy as the preserve of visitors. The question of autonomy is complex and not easy to understand or unpick.

Lots to think about. I’m looking forward to the session tonight – Elluminate Conference

2 thoughts on “Visitor/resident – some further thoughts

  1. Heli November 13, 2009 / 10:12 am

    Hi Jenny

    and thanks for the Elluminate I enjoyed every minute there.
    I have got many ideas about the resident-visitor conceptual model. I am both: I have a blog as a resident and I have developed a brand as online teacher (in Finnish).
    I try to use many new devices as FB and twitter, which are residential platforms – but I use them like a visitor: just follow, seldom write.
    I is great to find something that helps to understand what’s going on, so thanks again
    PS we have snow in Finland, I wonder if it stays longer..

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