I've been "attending" the CPSquare Web 2.0 and Communities of Practice online conference for the last week or so, and it has resulted in a number of interesting conversations. It's also inspired some personal realization as well.
Why web 2.0 and communities? With all the data and information out there being remixed every which way, traditional community technologies (forums / bulletin boards) begin to look stale and walled-off from the rest of the world.
So far, I've been most interested in the sessions on blogging, RSS and tagging. It's interesting to think about how these tools and capabilities relate to community, particularly from the perspective of the more common view of community as existing in a specific place. Networks of bloggers can be thought of as community (Lilia and others), even though blogs are "individual" efforts. One can also see / discover community in how people use the various tagging and bookmarking services. Existing communities can also use these tools to share amongst themselves and provide a public face to draw in new people.
The thing I've realized (again) for myself is that I really enjoy using these technologies and working with others on how to be use them in the course of work. As I listen to what other people are doing, I begin to wonder if there might be a business opportunity in creating simple, local workshops around "how to" participate in the new world of web2.0. They could be offered to the public in hands-on sessions. And they could be done in-house with more focus on what to do with these technologies in business. Other options spring to mind as well.
Update: typo in the title.