Working Towards Continuity in a Highly Volatile Community Network

Foth, Marcus (2004) Working Towards Continuity in a Highly Volatile Community Network. In O'Riordan, Kate & Rafaeli, Sheizaf (Eds.) 5th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), Sep 19-22, Brighton, UK.


Sustainability has been identified as a key, yet controversial issue in community informatics and community networking research. This paper describes an action research study which utilises the PAD methodology of participatory design and sociocultural animation to investigate an urban apartment complex comprising approximately 160 residents in Brisbane, Australia. The site is characterised by a high turnover of residents and thus offers various opportunities to study different facets of sustainability in the context of systems design for residential community networks. The paper explores three aspects of sustainability: community capacity building, neighbourhood identity and the continuity of the online community network itself; and how these aspects apply to this case study both online and offline. Preliminary results indicate that (a) working towards increasing conventional forms of social capital may lead to high barriers of entry and is thus counterproductive to ensuring sustainability in highly volatile and diverse communities; and (b) there is a need to move beyond technology for collective activity and work towards peer-to-peer networking tools which allow for a fluid, diverse and individualised swarm of residents.

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ID Code: 1905
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: community networks, community informatics, urban neighbourhoods
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Urban Sociology and Community Studies (160810)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning) (160404)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2011 19:17

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