Tapped In fit the bill nicely and Webheads has since grown and expanded far beyond it origins. Now I also lead a group on Saturday in addition to filling in as a volunteer for the helpdesk. I enjoy meeting so many different people in the field of education as well as students. It may be a virtual community but it is a cozy cyber home. Unlike some chat programs students mention they feel welcome and able to put their English to good use and make new friends.
Moving from TI1 to TI2 went fairly seamlessly and with little difficulty for both teachers and students and often word-of-mouth has brought new visitors to see what we were doing. I think for new users the new platform is much more user-friendly. Even though there were some features many of us became proficient at in TI1 that we said we would miss, other features in individual offices and group rooms seem to have more than compensated.
I've expanded my use of Tapped In to broaden my horizons in the field of education beyond language learning, although that is predominate, and to participate in online seminars and workshops like the one Phil Benz gave for making Webquests. Tapped In is an ideal way to get in contact with others around the world and to share in the process of becoming a supportive community that you always have contact with virtually. As a freelancer and active member of IATEFL, having contact with other professionals working in language training means having a larger source for ideas and advice when needed.
Tapped In is a prime example of what the Internet can and should be.