In reading Bonnie Stewart's blog post on "Learning to unlearn: Building networked identities in education" I was reminded of the concept of hubs and spokes in relationships. The idea that some people are hubs and others are spokes in the network of relationships. Hubs are people that bring people together and connect other people, spokes are connected together by the hubs in their lives (sorry, I couldn't find a good reference for this). In the face-to-face world, I identify as a hub. I'm the person in the group most likely to schedule events that bring poeple together. I'm the one most likely to reach out and ensure that there are real touch-points in my connections – I actively foster relationships.
However, in the online world, I struggle with how to be hub. In some ways, I think this blog is an attempt for me to be a hub – a way in which to help bring a community together — or maybe, it is just that sometimes I like the sound of my own voice ;-). I do find that MOOCs provide an opportunity for hubs to get out there and help find spokes in which include in the wheels that are our online identities.
I haven't found many other hubs out there in the cyber world – so the way in which digital relationships occur is somewhat different – more magnetic rather than hub-and-spoke, where fostering relationships (connections) has more to do with creating highly magnetic content that helps to draw people into your network, rather than through specific touch-points.
I don't know. Do either of these models work for you? Any advice on how to be a hub in the digital world?