Martin Dugage summarized a Blogwalk 1.0 discussion on Can blogging replace communities of practice in his weblog as Mopsos - Blogs and CoPs and it was reproduced at KnowlegeBoard as Blogs and CoPs: Can blogging replace communities of practice?. For the amount of discussion it generated at KnowledgeBoard (33 comments and growing), it is surprising that neither of these URL's turn up a lot of discussion in the blogosphere. (Six links for the original, and two for the KnowledgeBoard post.) The Mopsos article was posted in March.
The essense of the discussion is that blogs and CoP's have some overlap, but that they each provide some unique capabilities. In fact, one reason the articles may have not escaped into the blogosphere is that the community at KnowledgeBoard is busy discussing and dissecting the argument in a centralized location.
Here are the basic arguments. Read the whole thing for a nice summary of where things are going, and check the insightful comments / discussion at KnowledgeBoard.
Blogs are better than CoP's because
- Weblogs are more respectful of their authors and of their audience
- Weblogs are better connecting tools.
Communities are better than blogs because
- Communities are better social structures for problem-solving, knowledge stewarding and innovation
- Communities of practice are better social structures for learning
And how can blogs and CoP's live together
- Blogger networks generate communities of practice (and communities of practice generate projects)
- Communities of Practice can use weblogs to communicate with the outside world.