Teams and Communities 101
Many people confuse teams and communities when it comes to software. I'd like to try and help people better clarify the difference. In the most simplest terms, take software out of the picture and think about teams and communities around your city. Here is the great city of Beverly (Bev town as us locals like to say), we have multiple communities established around location, religion, and ethnicity. A couple of my good friends are members of the ICC (Italian Community Center). The purpose of this community is to socialize around topics that they have in common. Some of the members in the ICC enjoy fishing, darts, or just hanging around the ICC for dinner and drinks. Every member of this Community has opted-in and they can leave at any time.
Beverly also has teams. Growing up I played multiple sports (#2) and continue to play sports. Let's take the local men's lacrosse team for example. The goal of this team is to compete at a high level and to win the yearly intercity championship. This team was brought together where individuals were invited to participant based on their skill set to help the team accomplish their goal. Every year the team is restructured based on skills as they some times need to replace or add team members to achieve their goal.
Now if you think about team and communities in terms of software solutions, the same applies. For example, Lotus Quickr is the premier team software solution in the market places designed for team of people to come together using software tools to help them accomplish their jobs. Most often the team is controlled and the information the team shared for the team members only. Just like the lacrosse team doesn't share their playbook. Lotus Connections is premier community software service created in part to help people come together because they share a specific topic of interest. The information in the Community is mostly public for all community and non-community members to see. Just like the ICC has a monthly newsletter that anyone can subscribe to.
Remember, communities service a purpose and are often open while teams focus on a goal and are often private. In many cases, team and communities co-exist. Often you will find a subset of a Community make up a team. Just as the ICC in Beverly has a softball team, Lotus Connections Community may also have a Quickr team site.