When I read the title to this post, I at first thought, “I don’t manage my community of practice.”

My so-called community of practice is a completely informal collection of people I have chosen to associate with. I read and comment on their blogs. They comment on mine. We are connected in a few different spaces. I seek their advice and input and offer mine.

But we’re not a formal entity known as Karyn’s Community of Practice. In fact, some of them probably don’t even know that I consider them to be a part of my community of practice, and probably don’t regard me as part of theirs.

Then it occurred to me that, because of this very thing, it does fall to me to manage this informal, virtual entity. I choose who is in and who is out. I choose where I am going to participate. While I publish every non-spam comment on my blog, I choose whether/how to respond to their input.

So I don’t actually exercise any management over the people at all. What I manage is the intangible, entirely individualised collective they (unwittingly in some cases) constitute.