On-line / virtual communities

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Learning Communities - pedagogical considerations and uptake issues

Learning Communities - pedagogical considerations and uptake issues

Since the pioneering work by Freire and Illich there has been rapid technological development in the field of information technology. The Internet has made possible the use of computers to mediate social interactions, and this has given rise to a huge number of spontaneous and planned collectives, which are often described as on-line communities. One of the first of these to be open to the public at large was The WELL 11 in San Francisco, founded in 1985 by Stuart Brand and Larry Brilliant in order to connect the writers and readers of the Whole Earth Catalogue. A recent report by the Pew Internet and American Life project has described the current state of on-line communities in the US 12 . Mobile virtual communities are also emerging, principally among young people, and these intersect with the physical world in interesting ways 13 . The Internet is now widely used in education as an information resource, and many attempts have also been made to use it as a platform for virtual learning communities 14 . Indeed Illich specifically mentions that learning webs can be supported by computer technology, and even though he was writing over thirty years ago the model he proposes is very relevant to the search for effective use of the Internet in supporting learning communities.
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Using Organisational Culture to Enhance Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Communities

Using Organisational Culture to Enhance Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Communities

The data analysis also examined relationships between constructs of rules orientation and knowledge sharing in VCs. Rules orientation has three components: following procedures, managers’ instructions, and standards. Following procedures and managers’ instructions was found to have a positive relationship with knowledge sharing, with following managers’ instructions having the strongest relationship. This is in line with existing literature on VCs and KM. Many scholars have emphasized the importance of managers for the success of a VC and KM. For instance, Hiebeler [27] found that top leadership must be committed to share organisational knowledge, as lack of sharing can often be a reason for poor KM performance. The final component of rules orientation, following standards, was found to have no relationship with knowledge sharing.
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On-line communities

On-line communities

The term ‘virtual communities’ has increasingly been applied to communication networks in which the participants focussed on a common topic are not located in the same geographical place, but are distributed across the globe. Unfortunately the term seems to have almost as many definitions and descriptions as the ‘traditional’ communities of place, and arguments still emerge as to what is and is not an online community. Yet it is important that we have at least a clear working definition, even if we amend or reject this subsequently. We cannot begin to clarify how online communities actually function, nor compare their successes and failures to the operations of a physical ‘on-site’ community, if we cannot agree what
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Building Virtual Communities for Research Collaboration

Building Virtual Communities for Research Collaboration

In other words, our approach is not to develop features in advance of a group request for a feature. For instance, our first “need” arose when we as a group decided that email attachments of files were a considerable annoyance. While easy to add an attachment to an email in most email systems, such files are not easy to maintain, and are a drain on system resources if one is on a modem line rather than a high speed internet connection. The simple solution seemed to be: put your paper on your web site and include a URL in your email. In many mailers, URLs show up in mail as links, and it is simple to click on the link and go directly to the paper. We also decided that pdf should be the default format for document uploads since the Reader software comes with most browsers and allows documents to be viewed, with formatting from anywhere a browser has the reader installed. These files can be downloaded, too.
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A “Weak” Reflection on Unpredictability and Social Theory

A “Weak” Reflection on Unpredictability and Social Theory

Konstantinos Koskinas is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Psycho-Sociological Research on the Governance of Virtual Communities (OMEGA Research[r]

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Ethnography of Emerging Translocated Virtual Student Communities in Kenya

Ethnography of Emerging Translocated Virtual Student Communities in Kenya

Cohabiting in these ‘dislocated’ cultures[11], or what scholars refer to as ‘hybrid’ [12] university students begin to deploy learning experiences that go far beyond of what is prescribed by the curriculum and course outlines, as also explained elsewhere [13]. Inhabiting in the borders that connect the inside and the outside of the lecture room, he students develop enough skills to wander between the two dislocated communities. From the interviews, students thus manifest that using their phones, computers and the internet, they have learned; to search for information; to create and send social messages; to share multimedia content; and in some cases, to learn other ways to learn. Therefore, this paper reports these experiences and ponders over the question; what are the benefits of these experiences and again, how detrimental are the experiences of shuttling to the student, their immediate environments and their university education goals?
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Virtual Taxation: State Taxation of Internet and On-Line Sales

Virtual Taxation: State Taxation of Internet and On-Line Sales

North Dakota’s use tax illustrates well how a state tax might unduly burden interstate commerce. On its face, North Dakota law imposes a collection duty on every vendor who advertises in the State three times in a single year. Thus, absent the Bellas Hess rule, a publisher who included a subscription card in three issues of its magazine, a vendor whose radio advertisements were heard in North Dakota on three occasions, and a corporation whose telephone sales force made three calls into the State, all would be subject to the collection duty. What is more significant, similar obligations might be imposed by the Nation’s 6,000 plus taxing jurisdictions. [Further,] “the many variations in rates of tax, in allowable exemptions, and in administrative and record-keeping require- ments could entangle [a mail-order house] in a virtual welter of complicated obligations” . . . .
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Communities of Practice and Virtual Learning Communities: Benefits, barriers and success factors

Communities of Practice and Virtual Learning Communities: Benefits, barriers and success factors

complexity, challenges and value in such an accomplishment. This is illustrated by the HSBC advertisements on television that identify different gestures which convey different meanings in different cultures when one is ‘doing business’ in a global context. From this follows on a fifth CSF, that there should be shared understanding. Consideration needs to be given to the influence of culture in the use of ICTs in the development of a community (Campbell & Uys 2007). Culture impacts on the ability of the members to develop a shared understanding and sub-groups of the community, based on these cultures can easily emerge. Shared repertoire may include developed routines, language, ways of working and stories within the practice of the community, generated through negotiating meaning (Wenger 1998). It is postulated that virtual learning communities with a brief existence may not have the longevity of engagement required to develop shared repertoire (Fowler & Mayes 1999). Identifying elements of shared repertoire proved problematic in Moule’s (2006) analysis of the online environment, which lacked the richness that might be observed in a physically located CoP, where presentations of gestures, nuances, routines and stories are made manifest.
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The luxury watch collector community : an ethnographic exploration into a heterogeneous community

The luxury watch collector community : an ethnographic exploration into a heterogeneous community

Undertaking this PhD has been a truly life changing experience. This study owes a great deal to my supervisors Dr David Arnott and Professor Lloyd Harris, without their contributions it could not have been written. Dr Arnott helped me to see this world through a critical lens, introduced me to literature, the finer points of communities and luxury consumption, and refined the study’s philosophical and methodological perspective. I am indebted to him for his steady encouragement and support throughout the entire journey. Professor Harris pushed me to write in ways I did not think possible. In doing so, he helped me to realise my strengths as a writer and as an academic. He has actively supported my ideas, contributed to my research output, and encouraged me to engage with my academic community, whilst offering thoughtful commentary and advice on academia along the way. Lloyd’s work ethic and dedication are both inspirational. I am also grateful for the guidance of Dr Sue Bridgewater who supported my PhD and funding applications, and believed in me when no other academic did.
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Why Do Makers Make? Examining Designer Motivations on Thingiverse.com

Why Do Makers Make? Examining Designer Motivations on Thingiverse.com

motivations on the number of designs created by designers within the observation period (May 2017- May 2018) and on the market response to these designs. To study these elements, we first perused research done in previous studies on motivations in brand communities, transactional communities, and user innovation communities to create a literature review. Following the literature review, a survey was created which asked Thingiverse makers 5 sets of questions related to their specific motivations for creating and sharing designs and asked them to provide demographic data as well. The results obtained from this research indicate that the motivation to satisfy a personal need has a marginally significant, negative impact on the number of designs created by a maker while the desire to gain approval from others in the community has a significant, positive effect on market response to those designs.
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Ethical issues for qualitative research in on-line communities

Ethical issues for qualitative research in on-line communities

Internet technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and offers new possibilities for researching, particularly when working with hard to reach groups who may benefit from a move away from more traditional methodologies. The research has been informed by various methodologies, and is flexible in its application and nature, varying from an analysis of the content of web pages (Jones, Zahlm and Huws 2001), to complex discourse analytic techniques of ‘electronic conversations’, (Denzin, 1999). One of the most common uses of the Internet as a research tool has focused on the use of online questionnaires, via web page delivery or e-mail, and has proved useful in providing novel insights into research questions (see for example Coomber’s ,1997 investigations of drug dealers) as have on-line focus groups, and real-time interviews (O’Connor and Madge, 2000).
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The ABC’s of the K-12 Virtual Community (The Who, What and How for K-12 Teachers)

The ABC’s of the K-12 Virtual Community (The Who, What and How for K-12 Teachers)

The course creator, not the course, empowers collaborative communities. Using the Internet to communicate without restraints due to place or time has allowed the quantity and quality of human relationships to increase. To prepare our students for the 21 st century, we must understand who our Audi-

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Environmental Disturbances Decrease the Variability of Microbial Populations within Periphyton

Environmental Disturbances Decrease the Variability of Microbial Populations within Periphyton

In addition to the experimental disturbances, there are many other possible factors that could have influenced the variability of populations within the periphyton. For instance, the periphyton communities experienced environmental variability through- out the duration of the experiment due to natural weather conditions and small-scale variability in environmental forces. Acknowledging this environmental stochasticity, we intentionally implemented experimental disturbances that were more extreme than the natural variability that we observed during this time period. Additionally, we did not account for colonization of diatoms or bacteria after disturbances were implemented, which may have generated additional variability in these communities. However, because the Plexiglas slides were rerandomized between disturbances, we expect systematic bias from immigration to be minimal between treatments. Furthermore, the diatom and bacterial data sets are complementary in their strengths; the diatom data were obtained through direct counts, meaning that there is high accuracy in identifi- cation, although only a subsample of the community was measured. Conversely, nearly the entire bacterial community was sampled but with some degree of bias from using ARISA (45). Thus, because the two data sets were obtained using different methods, we are confident that the similarities in the results are not an artifact of our methodology. Prediction of microbial communities is an oft-cited goal of microbial ecology. However, predictive models can be accurate only if the process that they are describing is inherently repeatable. For instance, statistical models will produce a good fit to microbial community composition data only if these microbial communities show consistent responses to environmental drivers. The results of these experiments indi- cate that microbial communities do show repeatability in their response to environ- mental stress, because communities became more similar to one another after expe- riencing the same disturbance. This finding could be tested in other systems by examining whether predictive models of bacterial community composition (e.g., refer- ence 14) have lower error rates when modeling disturbed communities. These results suggest that changes to microbial communities could be modeled using abiotic drivers
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Vol 4, No 1 (2013)

Vol 4, No 1 (2013)

Lingvo-communicative indicators are special features of language and communication of online community’s members, which can be traced in his information track. The lingvo-communicative indicators determine the community member belonging to a particular set of socio-demographic characteristics. Lingvo-communicative indicator of socio-demographic characteristics of virtual community’s members is a set of linguistics and graphic features that are inherent to a web-communication specific online community member. These indicators establish identity virtual member to the set of socio-demographic characteristics and determine the value of socio-demographic characteristics, actually. That is, the person in the course of communicative activity uses features that helps expert to explore gender and age identity, level of education, field of interest. For example, smiles, lexical and graphic signs, etc.
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Adaptive notifications to support knowledge sharing in virtual communities

Adaptive notifications to support knowledge sharing in virtual communities

Social web-groups where people with common interests and goals communicate, share resources, and construct knowledge, are becoming a major part of today’s organisational practice. Research has shown that appropriate support for effective knowledge sharing tailored to the needs of the community is paramount. This brings a new challenge to user modelling and adaptation, which requires new techniques for gaining sufficient understanding of a virtual community and identifying areas where the community may need support. The research presented here addresses this challenge presenting a novel computational approach for community-tailored support underpinned by organisational psychology and aimed at facilitating the functioning of the community as a whole (i.e. as an entity). A framework describing how key community processes - transactive memory, shared mental models, and cognitive centrality - can be utilised to derive knowledge sharing patterns from community log data is described. The framework includes two parts: (i) extraction of a community model that represents the community based on the key processes identified and (ii) identification of knowledge sharing behaviour patterns that are used to generate adaptive notifications. Although the notifications target individual members, they aim to influence individuals’ behaviour in a way that can benefit the functioning of the community as a whole. A validation study has been performed to examine the effect of community-adapted notifications on individual members and on the community as a whole using a close-knit community of researchers sharing references. The study shows that notification messages can improve members’ awareness and perception of how they relate to other members in the community. Interesting observations have been made about the linking between the physical and the virtual community, and how this may influence members’ awareness and knowledge sharing behaviour. Broader implications for using log data to derive community models based on key community processes and generating community-adapted notifications are discussed.
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Virtual Communities Enabled Smart Crowd Funding System

Virtual Communities Enabled Smart Crowd Funding System

The major advantage of this proposed model is, increasing the fund system for developing many new initiatives and that can be useful to the society. The way to incorporate the start-up[r]

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Active School Travel: Pathways to a Healthy Future

Active School Travel: Pathways to a Healthy Future

Active travel part or all of the way to school is one of 10 priority policy actions proposed by a national collaboration of 70 leading Australian chronic disease experts. The 10 policy actions are presented in Getting Australia’s Health on Track (2016) highlighting how governments and others can drive change where it is needed most to improve the health of all Australians by 2025, in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global agenda to reduce preventable chronic diseases. This paper summarises the evidence for effective policy implementation and options that improve the physical activity levels and opportunities for all school children and proposes a national active travel to school strategy for Australia.
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The Real of the Virtual: Critical Reflections on Web 2.0

The Real of the Virtual: Critical Reflections on Web 2.0

Abstract: Social media, as the heart of Web 2.0, is a relatively novel theoretical notion and social phenomenon, pertaining to a long series of academic subjects, such as digital culture, virtual commu- nication, e-democracy, technological convergence, and online interactivity. Arguably, one of the most useful tools to adequately interpret and analyze this phenomenon is Critical Theory. The present arti- cle aims to comprehensively discuss and reflexively elaborate on the complex interrelationship be- tween Critical Theory and Web 2.0 developments. This mainly involves the historicization of the rele- vant concepts and the identification of crucial sociological, philosophical and interdisciplinary issues that strongly demonstrate the essential ontological complicity between the real and the virtual. In addi- tion, the analytical emphasis on recent social movements, such as the Arab Spring, reflexively depicts the new media as critical media, a characteristic feature that somehow stands in contrast to the partic- ipation of the Internet in the circulation and accumulation of the Capital. Through contemporary Web’s inherent paradoxes, it is eventually shown that the social potential of the new media can indeed be realised, so that the Internet serves the people and the public good.
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Research on Virtual Learning Community for Party Members in Colleges and Universities

Research on Virtual Learning Community for Party Members in Colleges and Universities

helpful for party members in colleges and universities to quickly grasp new scientific knowledge and ideological theories. At the same time, the virtual learning community provides a medium for college party members to communicate with each other, which is conducive to cultivating the ability of college party members to learn independently and creating a good learning atmosphere. Through communication and discussion among members, college party members can improve their own learning effect and interest. Meanwhile, with the help of virtual learning communities, party organizations in colleges and universities can get closer to the daily life of party members in colleges and universities, which is convenient for organizations to timely and effectively grasp the personal situation of party members and conducive to the development of party organization activities [6].
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Talking together : consumer communities in healthcare

Talking together : consumer communities in healthcare

One of the challenges faced by consumers in interacting within such a virtual community is the legitimacy, and indeed identity of the participants. Very little background information needs to be supplied by participants and there is no obvious way to verify the accuracy and quality of information available (Impicciatore et al, 1997; Wyatt, 1997). Recent developments linked to the problems of children being contacted by paedophiles over the internet has highlighted that on the internet you can be whoever you want, may make untrue claims and give inaccurate information with impunity. This anonymity strips individuals of their 'status trappings’ such as race, age, gender, looks, timidity, handicaps and encourages frankness (Garrsion 1994) allowing the development of what Tambyah (1996) calls the 'net self’, an alternative to IRL (in real life). Whilst this implies the democratic and relational nature of the internet, it also exposes the anarchic nature of the medium: freedom from control can also mean freedom from accuracy. Meyrowitz (1985 p.39) suggests that in any given situation we unconsciously ask "who can see me, who can hear me? and who can I see, who can I hear?" The answers to these questions allow the choice of appropriate behaviour and the role that will be acted out. The internet alters the possibilities by providing an alternative social situation where the roles are negotiated beyond the normal boundaries and social markers that determine interpersonal behaviour. Given that in most social situations 90% of communication takes place non verbally and that non verbal cues are the most powerful indication of detecting deceptive
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