The Cluetrain Manifesto is an important record of the shift in organizations from top-down, to bottom-up. If markets are conversations how can education, and educational institutions, not also be conversations? As we have seen on this and other blogs; increasingly the voices that are defining, and redefining, the institution are not coming from the top they are coming from the bottom. In my opinion, if there is a global conversation going on about the university, and all the universities of the world, it is not being conducted on the relatively static pages that are represented in the .edu domain, this conversation is happening on the edge, even beyond the edge in domains like blogspot.com, typepad.com or other personal domains ending in things other than .edu. It is the students and the faculties and the staffs who are leading the charge, not by passing edicts or setting policies, but by adding to the global conversation through their blogs, podcasts and RSS feeds.
The question is, as the voice of the institutions shift will the universities of the world accept loosing control of the message? This is a new world view. The loss of control may be seen as a loss of power (hint, it is not.) Will some universities respond as the institutions of the day responded to Galileo when he had the audacity to say that the Earth revolved around the sun? In my opinion when top university administrators, deans, and department chairs start blogging, we will know they are starting to get it.