Call it a blog network, not community
Bill Bruck discovered something new in a white paper by Shawn Callahan I had blogged before. Specifically, he discovered an interesting comment about the difference between a community and a network with reference to blogging communities. Blogging 'communities' - where are the shared stories?
Shawn Callahan summarizes a point that Steve Denning makes in The Leaders Guide to Storytelling. Steve distinguishes between CoPs and [Knowledge] Networks where the latter consists of a group of people who link together for mutual benefit, such as an alumni. While a community of practice is a group with formed for the purpose of improving member practice. Shawn goes on to suggest that the way we perceive the group type as either a network or a CoP depends on whether people have heard and retell the group's foundational stories. I think this is a very interesting insight, and I would suggest that it applies to blogging 'communities.'
I've been talking recently about blogs and communities, and this aspect -- that there are shared stories within a community -- is an interesting addition to the discussion. Mostly, what I see shared across groups of blogs are conversations. However, after enough repeated conversations, do not communities form? At this point, I could tell the story of a number of bloggers and the conversations we've shared over the years.
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