Nancy White is one of the people I turn to when looking for an expertise on online communities: she is well grounded in theory, but, most important, she mastered the art and craft of facilitating communities in practice. The good thing is that a lot of it is now documented in a book Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities that Nancy wrote together with Etienne Wenger and John D. Smith. (I am intending to write a proper review of it, but may be you shouldn’t wait for it and just get the book. Or read what Shawn Callahan wrote about it.)
Nancy is traveling around Europe with a stopover in Enschede. If you are around you may want to join use for a coffee and a conversation on communities on Monday, October 5th, 10-11:30 at Novay (if you are coming, please let me know since I’ll have to pick you up at the reception).
I asked Nancy to talk about the book and introduce some of the instruments that could be used when working with communities (e.g. community orientation spidegram), but you can shape the rest, bringing coffee and your questions about communities and technologies to support them.