Building engaged, sustainable online communities : a case study of an adventure travel website

Swift, Adam Glen & Nitins, Tanya (2011) Building engaged, sustainable online communities : a case study of an adventure travel website. In Kamalipour, Yahya R. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 5th GCA Conference : Global Power Shifts : Impact on Economy, Politics, Culture and Media, Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumper.

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This paper will provide an overview of a join research initiative being developed by the Queensland University of Technology in conjunction with the Australian Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre in relation to the development and analysis of online communities. The intention of this project is to initially create an exciting and innovative web space around the concept of adventure travel and then to analyse the level of user engagement to uncover possible patterns and processes that could be used in the future development of other virtual online communities.

Travel websites are not a new concept and there are many successful examples currently operating and generating profit. The intention of the QUT/Smart Services CRC project is to analyse the site metrics to determine the following: what specific conditions/parameters are required to foster a growing and engaged virtual community; when does the shift occur from external moderation to a more sustainable system of self-moderation within the online community; when do users begin to take ownership of a site and take an invested interested in the content and growth of an online community; and how to retain active contributors and high-impact power users on a long-term basis.

With the travel website rapidly approaching release, this paper begins the process of reflection, outlining the process undertaken and the findings so far aggregated whilst also positioning the project within the greater context of current online user participation and user generated content research.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 46902
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: travel journalism, social networks, online communities, user-generated content
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 08 Nov 2011 23:08
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2011 02:38

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