A new Deliverable 6.2 is available. This report is aimed at providing an overview of existing Brussels-based communities of practice for media workers. It is the second Deliverable of Work Package 6 on “Media workers as communities of practice”.
From show producers to VR enthusiasts, how do media workers share and develop new practices in Brussels?
Based on interviews and on-site observations, this report offers insights that help understand the dynamics of the selected communities of practice and analyses them in a crosscutting approach, in order to find the leverage that could be useful for community organizers and decision makers to weigh in on the development of such initiatives, and therefore to support the Brussels media industry.
This report is divided into four main parts. The first part goes back to the definition of communities of practice elaborated in Deliverable 6.1. It sums up the different aspects and characteristics that communities of practice need to have in order to be relevant for the purpose of this research. It also explains the process used in order to find media workers’ communities of practice in Brussels (on-site observation and online survey).
The second part of this report is a presentation of emerging or longer-established communities of practice in the Brussels media sector. We do not claim to have an exhaustive sample, as communities of practice may be difficult to identify and can be quite ephemeral (Roberts, 2006), but it provides a fair overview of the variety of CoPs that existed in Brussels at the moment of this study. This section of the report is mostly descriptive: it presents the communities of practice one by one, using data that have been collected mainly through semi-structured interviews with the founders or people in charge.
After an enhancement of the theoretical framework of the original 7Ps through field work observations (part three), the fourth part of this report has a more analytical perspective, comparing the trajectories and characteristics of these communities of practice in light of the relevant literature and especially the conceptual framework of the 7Ps. The objective of this analysis is to highlight preliminary trends and dynamics that constitute media workers’ communities of practice in Brussels, thereby providing the basis for the in-depth analysis that will be the focus of Deliverable 6.3.
The preliminary trends that emerge from this overview are the following. First, the communities of practice analysed in this report were created in specific contexts of new and fast-changing technological developments. Second, two main models can be clearly differentiated: the top-down approach, with the impetus coming from a public stakeholder and/or a domain-related institution in order to fulfil a specific need that has been identified, and the bottom-up approach, with the impetus usually coming from a personal initiative, which is the only structure to support the development of the community and has less access to resources. The communities seem to work as long as they are pertinent, respond to a need and bring added value to the target audience. Resources are a key element in developing a successful community or increasing its performance, whether it is human, financial, material or other types of resources (e.g. legitimacy, visibility, contact database).