Online communities: An ecology for knowledge collaboration
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In the current Web 2.0 environment there is high expectation that libraries and IT service providers will embrace online technologies to connect with and engage their users. Some libraries, for example, have reported on their implementation of technologies to develop online communities; however there is a much greater potential to utilise this approach than is generally appreciated within both the profession and, more broadly, the university sector. Like most, the Division of Information Services at Griffith University has used a suite of Web 2.0 tools and technologies to engage and support academic enquiry and has also experimented with a number of different technologies and applications to develop communities. Our thinking is maturing as we move from a technology focus to a strategy and use focus. In addition the focus goes beyond just academic enquiry. The Division is adopting a more planned approach to online communities. Within this context, two quite different communities have been established on the Yammer platform. One is an example of a private community, pre-planned to support an academicled emerging technologies planning group. The other is an open community created for any Griffith staff or student to discuss technology used within the University's learning, teaching and research environment. Based on a combination of observation and interviews, this paper reviews these two initiatives in terms of their characteristics, modes of participation, and rules of engagement (written and unwritten). It concludes with a suggested ecology based on a multiplex relationship model, i.e. relationships that are maintained both online and offline.
THETA: The Higher Education Technology Agenda 2013 Proceedings
Copyright remains with the authors 2013. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Information Systems not elsewhere classified
Social and Community Informatics