An article by Jane Bozarth
Etienne Wenger (of Cultivating Communities of Practice fame), Beverly Traynor, and Maarten De Laat have recently published a new conceptual framework for understanding and assessing value in such interactions. It includes a nice overview chart (figure 1) that I've found helpful in addressing concerns of my audience members.
I'll use myself as an example of how the chart helps shine light on real activity and outcomes. I spend a lot of time on Twitter because there are so very many smart people there, who at any hour of the day or night are talking about something I often didn't even know I wanted to talk about...So in looking at Wenger et al's first column: I feel I get immediate value from the quality of interaction and reciprocity, I am given food for thought that I do reflect on, and I make it no secret that I am having fun.
Moving across the chart to the second column: My views on learning have shifted considerably over the past five years as I've recognized firsthand the power and potential of increased support for social learning in the workplace.
Now, moving to the third column. Am I getting applied value? Do I leverage those connections? Have I engaged enough with my personal learning network so that, if I ask for help, some people might respond? Check out the full article at http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1019/
For another great resource summary of learning, check out Sharon Boller's whitepaper (actually it's in brilliant color...) http://www.bottomlineperformance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/LearningTrends_WhitePaper_Sharon_Boller.pdf