Patti Anklam, as is her marvelous way, weaves valuable threads leading to thought provoking places.
“Virtual” is a funny word for me right now, as I’m deep into writing Net Work, and the distinction virtual works for online communities as well as distributed communities, but there’s a difference and I’ve not yet found the right pair of words to signify the difference.
I don’t use “virtual” much but I might have the same problem if I did! It’s got the virtu; virtiiroot. Virtual rolls better than ‘temporary’ or ad hoc. In online lingo it refers to semblance, as in the virtual world resembles the real world. There’s a need for disambiguation here.
If we pose two polar qualities to better hinge the conception of the virtual, my initial choices would be: primary< -->secondary, and, similitude< -->analogy. The rich differentiation is found in the secondary/similitude and.or secondary/analogy. So, a real world virtual network could be secondary to, and similar, or, analogous to the primary network. Also, virtual networks in organizations tend to be spontaneous and this evokes for me their tacit in waiting and emergent status.
Her recent post got me wanderingwondering and it contains some valuable links about networks, communication and learning to explore.