This is about individuals meeting with other individuals; the power of informal community rather than groups presenting to individuals. The phrase social capital arguably describes this; fancy words for social relations? A number of years has gone into understanding the phrase and language used to describe people in relationship with other people. Community is private to those individuals and the idea of attempting to measure and map the relationships was abandoned because the invasive nature of the practices.
Measuring community and engagement by any other way than being involved personally has a distorting effect on the people, this is a significant reason why the project does not go for funding. People’s identities are respected whether they want to contribute anonymously, through a pseudonym or otherwise as the independent author they are. We educate and inform ourselves in and through our community; anyone who is interested in sharing knowledge for free in social ways is a welcome.
Part of what is being distilled from the last seven years of Ragged University is a guide on how to do your own project for zero budget so that anyone can do it their own way in their own local space. Meantime check out the guide ‘How to start a free university’ created by Melbourne Free University: