It's also an interesting case study, particularly for those who are struggling to figure this stuff out and grasp the relevance of it for them or their organisations.
The hypothesis behind this experiment is that social networking is a powerful tool and is very effective at joining people up with similar interests even though they are 'doing their own thing in their own way in their own (online) places'.
A comment from Jack on this diary post will help confirm this hypothsis. Let's see what happens.
Last night I was listening to a podcast by Jon Winston from Bikescape using iTunes. Coincidentally, I had the Last.FM program running. This told me that 323 Last.FM users had also listened to this podcast while running Last.FM. It told me that it knew nothing about the 'artist' (Jon Winston). It also told me that there were two 'Similar artists': Jack Thurston and Scott Alumbaugh.
I read on and realise that we don't just share an interest in cycling but there is also a rural thread in common. I then remember that my colleague, Paul Henderson, highlighted one of Jack's projects to me about two week's ago: www.farmsubsidy.org This amazing (and very clever) project uses modern law (freedom of information) and technology to bring together data on farm subsidies. It shows who gets what. David Henke of the Guardian wrote about here.
The chances are that Jack will find this post because he (or someone who knows him) will have his/her RSS Reader set up to scan for people writing about The Bike Show or farmsubsidy.org
Anyway, if Jack does comment here, it will demonstrate that the latest internet technology joins people up even though they don't know each other and they are operating in different places. Will it work… how long will it take…? As the saying goes, watch this space.
* Listen to Jack's account of the Dunwick Dynamo if you're into intersting cycling challenges