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Analysing the development, management and growth of integrated digital communities

Longmate, Elizabeth (2003)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis is concerned with understanding and describing the nature of 'community' within digital domains. A literature review indicates multiple media use within communities. The increasing range of personal and organisational technologies available suggests digital communities are more than just online communities. As such they require a new method of assessment. The design of digital communities should be based on an understanding of 'community' in digital domains. Previous assessments, often focusing exclusively on the Internet, failed to recognise the ways in which technologies are integrated within communities. A new assessment method should allow the examination of integrated technology effects on communities through an analysis of important community features. To assess digital communities a framework consisting of five headings was developed. The framework allows the effects of technologies to be examined across a range of communities. Taking a convergent methodologies approach five studies were undertaken covering a range of technologies and media integration issues. The results suggest that digital communities are groups of people using technology to support their social interaction needs. Media use within digital communities is heavily integrated and the social needs of community members drive technology use. Designers should provide communities with flexible technology that permits integration and member adaptation.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Baber, Christopher
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Engineering
Department:School of Electronic, Electrical and Computing Engineering
Keywords:Online Communities, digital, internet, mobile phone
Subjects:HT Communities. Classes. Races
TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:700
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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