Remember my invitation for Working solo, together? Harold Jarche has pointed to Jerome Martin's Cappuccino U (pdf), which describes the idea in more detail. Along with the basic idea of Cappuccino U, Martin talks about how other aspects of C.U. might appear: e-books, podcasting, scheduled meeting times, etc.
This e-book is about a new style of learning in which innovative people have combined new information technology with traditional ways of learning to develop a new, personally-driven approach to learning. It happens predominantly in "the third place," a location that is neither home nor office. The third place is usually a coffee house, one which is designed to serve this particular audience.
People gather in their favourite third places to work, relax, visit and learn. They work independently and in groups. Some of them use computers which may or may not be linked to the web. Some are taking courses online; others are writing books like this one.
This is Cappuccino U.
Where do people learn outside of school? Where do I go when I want to learn something new? What do I do to find the ideas and opinions of people who aren't the ones running around inside my own head? I go seek those ideas from people in other places. They might be on the web somewhere, but the immediate interaction is usually slow. But if I go to my local, I have a much better chance of those serendipitous interactions.