Title: Surveying web platforms serving communities of practice: findings and opportunities

Authors: Sami Miniaoui

Addresses: University of Dubai, P.O. Box 14143, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: Finding appropriate tools and platforms to maintain and manage their activities is a major challenge for communities of practice (CoPs). We reviewed in this research several platforms used by CoPs from several backgrounds (IT, education, social activities, etc.) in order to identify common tools that might help in proposing guidelines for dedicated CoPs' platforms. We classified the reviewed platforms into four main categories: basic tools (forums), simple platforms (content management systems), community-oriented platforms (portals) and proprietary platforms (Youmedia, iwlearn). Indeed, we identified four main limitations of the reviewed platforms namely: single authentication to the platform, common repository of resources and global search, notification and performing activities. Consequently, we discussed and justified adopting a pivot technology for implementing CoPs' platform (widget technology). Additionally, we justified the necessity in providing interoperability of embedded tools for performing activities. Finally, a proposed logical structure of the dedicated platform for CoPs was discussed then justified.

Keywords: communities of practice; CoPs; knowledge management; Web 2.0 technology; widgets; portals; technical integration; inter-widget communication; IWC; online communities; virtual communities; web based communites; interoperability; embedded systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2017.082720

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2017 Vol.13 No.1, pp.102 - 117

Received: 05 Apr 2016
Accepted: 08 Apr 2016

Published online: 09 Mar 2017 *

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