Etienne Wenger describes Communities of Practice as a group of people who share a concern/passion for something they do and they learn how to do it better by interacting regularly.  ( 

How would you know when a community is a community of Practice?

The following characteristics will be present, and it is a combination of them that will make up a community of practice:

  • I will be a group of people who share a domain of interest
  • In pursuing their interest in their domain the members join up in activities / discussions to help each other out and to share information
  • Members of community of practice are practitioner. They develop and share resources.  (experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing problems)

There is a lot more to CoPs but for the purpose of this assignment I am constrained to the total words for the whole assignment, and unfortunately I am on my limit!  I do feel that all the students enrolled in semester one for 157.240 are a community of practice and we share our knowledge and information on the blogs we created and also on Massey stream web site.


What have social media networking done for me today.  I logged on to Facebook this morning and updated myself with what is going on with all my family and friends.  Tweeted that my daughter lost her first tooth. I had a look at Mountain Spa’s page on Facebook to see if they have any new specials going on this week.  (I am in desperate need of pampering)

So what did I gain from that?

I had the satisfaction that I am sharing my day to day activities with family and friends.  It gives me pleasure to kno they are aware of what’s going on in my life, and I managed to score a good deal on a facial 🙂

But for some businesses Facebook and Twitter is more than just a social communication tool.  Facebook and Twitter are being used as a marketing and promotion tool.  Take for instance Giapo’s ice cream shop.  Where would they have been if they did not use Facebook and Twitter?  Just another ice cream shop on the corner of some street.  No they noticed the benefits of social media networking, and they put themselves out there.  With little to no cost!  It’s all about being innovative and creative; think about what you want and how you are going to achieve it.

Refering to the report in Dominion Post, p. C6, 10 May, about possibilities to report faults about fallen trees and blocked drains online.  What a good idea, it would take out a lot of wasted time in answering phone calls, logging faults, following up on faults…. and in the end, the person who logged the fault online were the one who did the data entering correctly!  So al the council will have to do is go out do the job and sign off on the job so that the status online is updated to complete.  Pretty simple!

Have you noticed the latest business approaches in marketing through social media?  I am talking about grab one, and yazhoom.  Smart move guys!  Hope they expand the deals to smaller cities like Greymouth!  Their approach is to advertise deals, but  they can only sell them once they have enough people interested.  If you want the deal, you have to post it on your social media page in order to create more interest.  Once there is enough interest in the deal, it will becomes active.

How did they approach this marketing technic?

Simple answer they used the 4 C’s – Communication, Cooperation, Collaboration and Connection.  As simple as that! OK a lot of negotiations happened in the back ground to get this type of deals lined up but still, they kept is simple!  No frills No fuss!

Examples of Web 2.0 applications

 So what is the difference between Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and 3

File:Web 2.0 Map.svg I googled “Difference between Web 1.0…Web2.0” and came across this blog  It’s not a long read but more a comparison between the two, and it all comes down to Web 2.0 is an improvement on what Web 1.0 offered.  Web 1.0 offered information to the end-user, where Web 2.0 gives the end-user the opportunity to have a say and impact on what’s to offer on the web.  So Web 2.0 offers more interaction than Web 1.0.  It’s the move from just a web page to  a dynamic and sharable content and social networking.  Web 2.0 is about information sharing and collaboration.  Watch this space because we live in a evolving world where technology dictates what’s new tomorrow. 

 I understand Web 3.0 to be a third generation of Internet-based service that collectively comprise whats been refered to as “the intelligent Web”.  Web 3.0 emphasize machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience.  Nova Spivack defines Web 3.0 as the third decade of the Web (2010–2020) during which he suggests several major complementary technology trends will reach new levels of maturity simultaneously.

OK back to Web 2.0 – There are 3 types of collaborative tools that are particularly important

  1. Blogs – User generated web journals, offering opinions and information.  The blogs consist of text, images and hyperlinks to other blogs / web pages. My blog is set up for the sole purpose of this assignment.  So I think I will count myself as a blogger who is set up purely for personal experience and to learn what social media is all about.
  2. Mashups – Now I had no idea what Mashups were / is.  But after reading Niall Cook’s book “Enterprise 2.0” (2008) it made all sense.  Mashups are websites / other applications that integrate content from more than one source into an integrated application. this is a mashup website from WikipediaVision, it’s a world map that indicates in real-time every time someone edit/creates a Wikipedia.
  3. Wikis – Is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, edit and change content.


Allot of companies have started to warm up to the idea of having blogs, I have noticed that a number of  IT and Telecommunication companies make use of blogs.  Wonder why, if you have any sence you would hook up to it, show me an IT / Telecommunication company that struggles to sell their product.  You will have to think about that.  Blogs are easy to set up and inexpensive to run and maintain.  It’s a good way to participate in the Web 2.0 movement. 

Companies would use blogs for:

  • Announcements for events, new products / services
  • To react to criticism / praise / new ideas
  • To convey company messages
  • Creating involvement from employees, customers and public by asking questions and listening to their response
  • Closing the feedback loop

The whole Web 1.0….2.0….3.0 have so many features to it that there is just no limits.  Each application improved on the previous one, and I do agree, it’s not long before we will be asked to talk about what Web 9.0 have to offer.  We live in a World that’s lead by technology…..

Bagpipe Serenade

Posted: March 11, 2011 in Just for Fun....some jokes

Just for a laugh

view detailsA beautiful, touching story from a generous South African musician.
As a bagpiper, I’ve played many gigs up in Gauteng, but not so many since recently moving to Cape Town.
Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.
He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at the municipal cemetery in Kraaifontein.

 I now stay in Simonstown and was not familiar with the northern suburbs, so I got a bit lost on my way there.
I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
I felt badly and apologised to the men for being late.I went to the side of the grave and looked down.

The guys had already started filling in and not really knowing what else to do, I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.
I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played ’Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together.

 When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.
As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say,
“Jislaaik, I never seen nothin’ like that before in the twenty years I’ve been putting in septic tanks.”
….Apparently, I’m still lost.

My shoulder to lean on

Posted: March 10, 2011 in My shoulder to lean on

First of all I am quite surprised by having a wee bit of traffic on my blog (giggle)

I am still wondering what I should blog about. I think I will start off by thanking my lovely husband for being such a great support during my studies, without his help and shoulder to lean on this would not have been easy.  He makes it all worthwhile.  I think sometimes he is also surprised by the fact that I manage to pass my papers 🙂 

This semester is by far the most challenging one I have had this far. And it is only the second week.   So much is happening in such a small amount of time.

We are in the process of relocating to Indonesia and I have enrolled myself for 3 papers this semester.  To top it all up, I am still working full-time, managing a house hold, have 3 children (age raging from 6, 4 and 2) and renovating our house.  How do I manage it all……by grace and praying every night. 

But to be honest I enjoy every moment of it.  Someone once told me that you get a lot of people who post on their CV’s that they were part of this and part of that while they were still in high school, climbed Mount Everest ten years ago and so on.  Al of which are a major achievement, but the big question is WHAT HAVE YOU DONE SINCE?

My goal in life is to continue to add something to that list.  Yes at times it feels like everything is just going to cave in on me, but I stand up, dust of the pity and go on!  You only have one opportunity of making a success of life, use it!  It’s all about what you are doing now that counts.

Next step is to set up a Twitter account.  I am quite familiar with Facebook and use it for communicating with family and friends back in South Africa.

 Let hope creating the Twitter account goes smoothly!

There is a lot of information to take on board after completing week 2 course material.  

First of all what is the perfect storm?  I googled and Wikipedia described a perfect storm as a confluence of events that drastically aggravates a situation.  Is that what happened with social software?  YES!  We find ourself in an environment where almost all the technological and economical barriers to entry have been removed, it’s the voice of people who’s guiding the way.  People share information in their own voices without barriers, we connect with each other through different forms of communication. 

So in the terms of Social Software what is a ‘perfect storm’. 

  • Technological barriers that been remove
  • It’s the voice of people that are out there
  • young and old make use of social software there is no age or race limitations to social software. 

Nothing is standing in the way of social software, its Free, its easy and its making a difference!

The ‘Perfect Storm’ created by Social Software

 What type of benefit could an organisation have if they adopt to a social software:

People are talking to each other, they communicate directly with each other inside the company. Social Software can open doors that was never open, by that I mean, employees with knowledge gained by skills and experience can share what they know, that information will be available for all to access.    This will give your employees the feeling that the company are made up primarily of people, each of whom have a contribution (through thought/experience/knowledge/views/opinions) to share, and they are able to communicate just like any other person. 

Applying Social Software to business and how they will adapt to change

I think the biggest barrier to entry for Organisations is the will to adopt and the will to accept that times have changed.  It’s also the will to let go of control, control over information, and the will to share.  A lot of thought have to go in to what type of social software should be used in an organisation, how the software will fit in with the systems they currently have.  Companies should also ask the question of whether social software will add value to their organisation. 

To quote Niall Cook, “Organisations need to accept that social software is a reality in today’s always on, on demand, business and technology landscape”  The people have a desire to use it – the organisations people have a desire to use it, it can be harnessed to achieve business impact for a small investment.


How would I define Social Media?

Before I started with this paper I only thought of Social Media in the form of Facebook.   Which is not wrong, but I only thought of it as me chatting with family and friends on Facebook and keeping up with what they are doing.  But Social Media is by far more evolved.  Social media are a media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques.  Social Media use web base and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialog.

Social Media is all about engagement; it is a two-way communication between you and the world.  Leaving no barriers and includes everyone.



What is the “porous membrane” and how does this apply to an organisation?



The Porous membrane was first introduced by Hugh MacLeod (2005)

 Social Media, and blogs have already begun to puncture this corporate membrane (sometimes from the inside out, but more often from the outside in.  And this is beyond the control of the organization.  What social media do is to create a direct channel of communication between employees and their customers, this is bypassing the traditional mechanisms the employers have put in place to ensure only selected members of the organisation are allowed to speak.  What most of the employees havent realised is that they are the spokespersons for the organisation in the world of social media.


The four primary functions of social software:                                                                                              

Communication – Blogs, Microbrogging, Location-based social networks and Social networking

Cooperation  – Image and video sharing, social bookmarking and social cataloguing

 Collaboration – Wikis

 Connection – Social networking, tagging, syndication and mashups