My experience so far with Dan and T/M C brought me back to a passage of a book I read earlier this year, Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Friedman wrote:
"The key breakthrough that enabled Google to become first among search engines was its ability to combine its PageRank technology with an analysis of page content, which determines which pages are most relevant to the specific search being conducted. Even though Google entered the market after other major search players, its answers were seen by people as more accurate and relevant to what they were looking for" (155).
It occured to me that this forum is essentially modelled on a similar format as Google's. Tutormentorconnection.ning.com a) looks for information, or content, and people relevant to the cause of tutoring and mentoring; b) organizes, analyzes, and archives that information for future reference; and c) utilizes those references for targeted advertising campaigns, social networking, grant-writing, and the like. Even more to the point, this forum is a way of attempting to grow the idea of tutoring and mentoring to scale, or to a point where it "tips".
The "In-Forming" Process works something like this:
1. Uninformed people interact with information and become informed.
2. Informed people interact with uninformed people, producing more informed people.
3. Informed people interact with each other.
4. To the point where new information is being passed along to all parties involved, starting the process over again.