A Community of Practice by Any Other Name…

You may have noticed some name changes around the NTEN site.  We have come to the conclusion that some of the language NTEN has used to refer to our various programs and tools has ultimately created more confusion than understanding. In an effort to simplify and help remove barriers to participation, we have retired the name “myNTEN” in favor of the more straightforward, “online community platform,” and exchanged “Community of Practice” for “online community group.”

Recognizing that myNTEN doesn’t make sense without a modifier like “community platform,” we moved away from the myNTEN (and myNTC) microsite and URL naming convention last year. The web address quietly changed from my.nten.org to community.nten.org, but the name hadn’t yet formally changed.

The topical discussion groups within NTEN’s online community platform have been known as “Communities of Practice.” While Community of Practice is an established term, we didn’t feel it was well known enough to be welcoming to newbies. We’re now referring to the groups as what they are: online community groups. If we feel we need to save a few characters, then—rather than continue with the alienating abbreviation “CoP”—we will refer to them as “groups.”

We’d love to hear feedback about this change and hear your suggestions for additional improvements via community@nten.org.


Bethany Lister
Community Engagement Manager