Yet again I have a client – of 5 years – who has made the technology a centre-piece of their strategy.

I cry.

It’s a technology that I suggested and helped to create. But I seem powerless to convince them that the proportion of resources they are investing in technology as opposed to building the learning network are a waste of everyone’s time.

Technology and community building are not the same thing. I get it. Funding can be easier for tech. Tech is sexy or mysterious – depending on your relationship with it. Organizations understand $$ for tech.

But it won’t build you a network. Building a network requires social artistry, persistence, understanding the community, knowledge of the domain, attention to practices, conversations, more conversations, and concern for creating value.

If your only qualifications are being a tech whizz, you are not cut out for the job.

If training people on how to use a simple technology takes up a hundred per cent of your attention, you are on the wrong track. If it takes up less than five percent of your time – in response to requests by network members – you are probably getting close.

It’s community building 101. And I have to watch as my.own.client repeats the same.old.mistake.

I cry.