learning log

Posted on Monday, 10 April, 2006 by

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This log is logging the behaviour of Communities of Practice and my “common sense”-learning. I hope to be learning about CoPs, communities, communication and the implications of web2.0 for the management of common goods like water, natural resources, knowledge.

With this CoP log I want to describe the development of some groups-with-elements-of-CoPs which I initiate or in which I participate. Are they CoPs? How do they come into existence, mature, decline again? What are the conflicts, the hurdles they experience. How is leadership conceived? Do they bring the participants what they need, what they hope to get? Who joins, who drops out? In what ways is the CoP effective, in what not? As I hope to learn answers to these questions along the way, it is also a log of my learning.

I want to log the groups-with-elements-of-CoPs, with two objectives:
-for CoP Doctors to diagnose and cure: because of looking at them in this way I or others may analyse some problems and come forward with solutions, or prevent problems
-for CoP historians to learn: over time, a CoP log will in retrospect give us some idea of the processes CoPs are subject to.

So all CoP doctors and historians: find your test cases here.

Background
Recently I have become intrigued by on-line communities. There are certain parallels with what I did until now, there is a strong feeling of familiarity, of coming home even. But yet there is a lot to learn, still. What exactly, and how… I am not sure.

There´s lots and lots to be found on the theory part of on-line communities, on communities of practise, but this time, and in honour of the CoP spirit, I want to focus on learning from practise. This is a log of my learning.

Why public? I had tried reading blogs before but had concluded that blogs were a `self-indulgant fad´(these words linger in my mind: I´m quoting someone´s words but sorry, have tried but cannot track back where). I thought blogging was similar to TV real life soaps like ´Big Brother´: while it still can be understood why people watch them, it´s quite mindboggling why people want to participate in them. I figuredonly vain or lonely people would want to take all this trouble to share their thoughts, lives.

It was / is only very slowly that I am discovering the power (and re-discovering some of the weaknesses) of blogs. Did I change, did blogging change? Up till now I am not sure in this discovery process if it was me finding out, or the blog world evolving, or a bit of both. (But I am not alone, looking at the enormous increase in blogs.)

I can see the potential of blogs of making tacit knowledge accessible, of a networking tool. I cannot quite fathom it though, I want to understand it better.

So, accepting that learning is a social activity, I decided to expose my learning process, and to share as much as possible of my learning process, and if possible, to tug in contributors, co-learners.

Posted in: learning log