FeedBurner is a Chicago-based company, currently in the process of being Googlized, that allows visitors to subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed or email updates. When I find a blog I really like, I enter my email & subscribe.Shameless plug: you can do the same for this site! Instantly, the magic of the web links me in to a new community of practice, where I can lurk on the sidelines for as long as I like, or click through to comment, link, and contribute to the conversation. Feeds & email updates are all about drawing readers into a community from the margins–which is to say, they are all about learning.
So in the last couple weeks Ian Stewart linked to Scott Wallick’ tales of his accidental (and spectacularly successful!) plunge into the WordPress learning community in On Selling Something I Sort of Own and his encounter with the learner as community member in An Ideal WordPress User; and at Portable Learner, Shanta Rohse shows how she decorates her [thematiclink] 1 header logo for Christmas and Darwin Day.
Meanwhile, Luke Holzmann of Sonlight Curriculum reminds us in Feeding the Problem that learning in community sometimes means coping with frustration and making the effort to work out your own solutions; and Dana Hanley, in What My Daughter Has Learned Through Blogging, tells how her 10 year old has taken ownership of her learning as she designs her new science e-zine for children, The Science Mouse. (Mouse is looking for contributions for the upcoming issues. Visit her list of themes to see how you can be a part of her learning community!)
Finally, Rob Glazebrook of CSS Newbie encourages his readers to buy some books for a good cause at the SitePoint Victoria, Australia, Bushfire Relief Sale. Through this Friday, February 13th, 2009, Melbourne-based web developer community SitePoint is offering FIVE of their well-regarded books (in PDF format) for the price of one — just US$29.95 — and all proceeds will go to the Australian Red Cross to provide relieve for the victims of the worst brush fires in Australian history. I’m picking out my titles already.
And for all of you named here, and many others unmentioned, who make learning communities happen at home, at work, and on the web — thank you!