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To Be or Not To Be Austin or Central Texas Centric

At our mission statement meeting last Friday, we discussed not having an Austin or Central Texas focus for the Council. I'm of two minds on this: yes, we don't want to be too narrow or exclusive vs. inclusive, But there's real value in creating something that has a sense of "home" and identity or local-ness to this e-learning initiative. Of course, we'll be globally available ... but I wonder if we'll have a stronger sense of connection/community building if we focus regionally, particularly if we're featuring local user groups and knowledge sharing of local e-learning experts. Maybe I just need another cup of tea.
Your thoughts?

1

Being Austin-based and

Being Austin-based and Austin-centric doesn't keep us from having members outside of the area. 
I do like that we're coming up so relevantly in google searches (even just for eLearning searches).  While I do think our focus should be to serve local eLearning professionals, I definitely do not want to see us limiting our member base through location discrimination.
Our online presence should be inclusive. 

2

Austin or not

I was thinking why I didn't want the words "in Austin" in our mission statement.  A big reason was because the resources for E-learning are scattered throughout the world.  For example, the person who did the best presentation at ASTD on storyboarding was from Arizona (Georgianna Marie).  I want her to contribute her expertise.
Also a lot of the folks interested in joining are from multi-national companies.  They have offices in lots of places.  I'd have no problem with folks in Australlia or New Zealand contributing to the discussion (yeah yeah notice I name place I want to go to).
 
No doubt our membership will be largely from Austin.

3

Not...again

A question/thought:

do we want to have members from across the USA or even internationally?

Or do we want to limit the overview of the council to, say, the Southwest U.S.?

FWIW, if you Google elearning council, we are the first to come up. Let's keep it that way!

4

Not

If you want to exclude many others from participating, keep it Austin-centered.
Too many people will feel like they have no say, including right now since the meetings are in Austin. That said, the group will gravitate towards being Austin-centric unless measures are put into place right now. Use of venues such as Centra, LiveMeeting, WebEx, etc. can help as well.
Then there's the cost...

5

Tony, Great thoughts.  Since

Tony,
Great thoughts.  Since there is a large portion of this that's going to be virtual I think we should be inclusive.  Would love to broadcast the meeting.  We'd have to figure out costs.
 
 

6

FYI - Keep in Mind

Guys, it cost $39/month to have a virtual classroom for 15 sites.  I maintain such a room for non-state related consulting.  I'll be glad to share if we want to try this out for a future meeting.

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