Modern communities of practice (CoP) built on a foundation of technology and social media are emerging on a global scale. Considering the speed at which technology evolves, best practices also continue to evolve for building, maintaining and measuring the effectiveness of these modern communities. This report attempts to outline and discuss key lessons learned to date and provide several recommendations based upon available evidence and expert opinion. But each CoP – defined here as a group of professionals with similar interests – is unique in purpose and must find its own path to success. While communities once interacted entirely face-to-face, modern communities interact both in person and online, though some purely virtual communities do exist. Typical in-person interaction includes activities such as meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences. Virtual interaction leverages various internet-based social media tools to simulate similar interactions: social networks to link members to each other and interest groups; social media to share content and materials; listservs to facilitate conversation and exchange; and websites to create their “home” on the Web and provide an opportunity for others to learn about them. While face-to-face interactions provide a depth not easily recreated online, virtual ones provide greater access for those unable to attend in-person events. Successful modern communities find a way to integrate both approaches.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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