We introduce a framework for quantifying semantic variation of common words in Communities of Practice and in sets of topic-related communities. We show that while some meaning shifts are shared across related communities, others are community-specific, and therefore independent from the discussed topic. We propose such findings as evidence in favour of sociolinguistic theories of socially-driven semantic variation. Results are evaluated using an independent language modelling task. Furthermore, we investigate extralinguistic features and show that factors such as prominence and dissemination of words are related to semantic variation.