On the learning conversations blog I found a video interview with Etienne Wenger in which he answers quite some basic questions about communities of practices in organisation. What they are, when not to foster them (they are not a panacee), how sponsorship of communities in an organisation differs from managing communities. Highlights: think about communities when there is a dynamic knowledge problem. Practitioners need to be in the lead. When there is a clear knowledge gap, just produce a manual. When there is a problem with an organisational process, don't try and solve it with a community of practice. And when there is really no-one who is passionate about the domain, forget about it too. Watch it if you have some 15 minutes and are interested in communities.