Communities of practice or enterprise social networks as they're also known are great for sharing learning, developing new connections and collaborating. The Knowledge Hub, Yammer and Socialcast are examples of platforms where people come together to collaborate, network and share information. These online communities can save a lot of time and money as there's no need to travel long distances, replenish the petrol tank or raid the purse for train and bus fares.
The term 'Enterprise Social Network' is getting bandied about quite a lot of late. It sounds a bit techie, but it's really not. Enterprise Social Network (ESN) is a term that emcompasses social networking tools and software, some of which are used internally in organisations such as Sharepoint. However, ESNs also include the new wave of public social networking websites that allow people to connect, collaborate and share information on subjects of interest. Yammer and Socialcast are two popular examples. These websites can facilitate groups both within and outwith organisations.