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I have to say that one of the good things that happened work-wise in 2009 was connecting with Mike Bogle. In an environment where few are on the same wave length, Mike's enthusiasm was a breath of fresh air.

2009 was a hard year for him; I could sense that. His skills and passions were not well used, and he was pushed into roles that almost seemed a punishment for someone passionate about open education and new and emerging technologies. So Mike's post today is not a surprise. It's amazing how breaks give us time to stop and reflect.

My response?
People burn out. They burn out when potential and ideas are ignored, when ideals fail to become reality, when you see those you love being affected by it, when what you believe in and your soul are eroded. Sometimes you've just got to move on; there's only so much fighting you can do. Been there, done that. But the risk of doing so is that you lose connection with your community, those that provide affirmation and succor.

Nancy White's recent discussions around network vs community made me realise that I have indeed lost this myself. I have friends I value who share my interests and views, I operate within groups (I wouldn't call them teams) and I'm part of a range of dispersed networks. But communities, I think, are about specific shared goals and sense of purpose, striving towards the resolution of an issue or completion of a project. They are also about shared interests and values, values that act as a driving force. Without community it feels a little looking in at a party through a window, you know you're welcome to attend but you also know that you don't belong. I'll follow up a little on this at a later date.

So Mike, take the break you need, follow your heart, try something new but position yourself within a community to rejuvenate and affirm what you are most passionate about. Rekindle the fire.