Blogs vs communities of practice

A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
– What it is about – its joint enterprise as understood and continually renegotiated by its members
– How it functions – mutual engagement that bind members together into a social entity
– What capability it has produced – the shared repertoire of communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artifacts, vocabulary, styles, etc.) that members have developed over time? (Wenger 1998)

I’ve been reading an interesting post from back in 2004 comparing blogs and online communities of practice.
In summary:
What blogs provide that other web-based collaboration tools do not:

  • Blogs are more respectful of their authors and of their audience
  • Blogs are better connecting tools.

What Communities of Practice provide that a network of bloggers cannot:

  • Communities are better social structures for problem-solving, knowledge stewarding and innovation
  • Communities of practice are better social structures for learning

How blogs and CoPs live together?

  • Blogger networks generate communities of practice (and communities of practice generate projects)
  • Communities of Practice can use blogs to communicate with the outside world.

I wonder how that discussion would be updated now? Certainly you wouldn’t talk about “weblogs” now! I might have a think about this and post my thoughts at a later date.