It was kind of like two blog posts unexpectedly colliding or passing in the night past a burning barge. On Sunday, Bryan Alexander asked some large questions about How would you design a professional association for the future?. I also wrote about the impending death of Storify and in their dying process leaving no plan…
via Fixing or Fading An Organization’s Web Legacy — CogDogBlog
I think I vaguely knew that Alan Levine had worked for NMC in an official capacity. In fact I probably attended more than one of his presentations over the years (I’m guessing). The University where I work had been interested in joining NMC back when membership was still small and very closed (you had to apply and meet all the minimum requiremements to be a member institution). We tried a couple times and failed, but got it on the 3rd attempt. I think it was right around 2000 or so. That’s why I say I might have attended an event during Alan’s time working for NMC. Of the Summer Conferences, I’m trying to recall one was in Charlottesville, VA (at UVa), another was in Blacksburg (at Va.Tech). I attended one at Princeton which was cool, that was their 15th anniversary year (2008). I remember it most because I drove all the way from Western NY and needed to buy a GPS to get me through the twists, turns, roundabouts and jug-handles of old New Jersey, the Garden State. That was also the Summer my wife’s old 25″ TV bit the dust forcing me to buy my first flat panel TV (which I still am using).
So many changes not just in technology, but in the people, the groups, the staffing. I note some were just as unexpected as NMC’s announcement. I saw Gardner Campbell’s group at VCU get re-distrbuted. Not long before that the group I worked for at my University also got torn apart and redistributed. That’s one theme I see running throughout the old Ed Tech groups that took years to build up, with space, funds, staff all got to be really a seeming burden for some higher-ups who ultimately decided to ruin, destroy teardown the whole thing. Somehow through all of that I timed things well and was able to stay gainfully employed within the same Unviersity more or less doing the same work, but alone, not in a team. I still have contact with those separated group members. They still do the same work, but report up through business I.T. outfits now. That’s made the whole set of services lose much of the academic and home spun flavor the earlier group had. But I still have hope. Ambitious career types want to form up a centralized group that might one day act as consultants or help guide folks through the myriad choices, services we have (that never went away, it just fractures and spreads out to more diverse tools over time). We’ll see what comes of that effort, but I do know whatever the outcome of NMC’s dissolution, people will still be doing the work they did prior. Just won’t be called NMC, or organized the same way.