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Archive for the ‘discussion leader’ Category

Group 3 discussed The Cluetrain Manifesto.

From this discussion we agreed on four salient points found in the book relating to Com546:

1. Customers are now part of a connected network (over the Internet.) These customers are talking to each other more than in the past.

2. Businesses need to talk in the language of thier customers, not in P.R. (public relations) language.

3. E-businesses will thrive when they understand and meet their customer’s needs in the networked world.

4. E-commerce has gone full circle form open conversation (the ancient marketplace) to controlled conversation (Industrial revolution top down consumerism) to open markets once again (in the Internet age.)

We also hit upon two intriguing ideas in The Cluetrain Manifesto:

1. Companies can gather knowledge from within by facilitating an atmosphere of open conversations.

2. E-business allows consumers to return to personal interaction with the seller much like in the markets of the past.

The last thing we discussed was the historical positioning of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

To put it simply:

The Cluetrain Manifesto is positioned at the beginning of large scale adoption and use of the Internet during the late 1990’s.

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Our group had two distinct questions this week:

1. How might uses and gratifications theory inform how eGovernment might best serve citizens?

For the first question we created a ‘Use’ and ‘Gratification’ matrix.

Use——> Gratification

Citizens file taxes online.——> Citizen gets tax return sooner.

Citizens access government info online.——> Quicker access to government documents and forms such as Driver’s Education manual.

Government distributes documents online.——> Less paper is used, cheaper, protects environment.

Citizens have direct communication with Government.——> Government is more responsive to citizens; Government can track external communications and receives feedback.

By looking at the matrix, we decided that both the Government and the Citizen benefit from the use of eGovernment. It’s a two way street where people receive information form their government as well as communicating their needs more efficiently, while the Government saves money and receives valuable feedback from the citizens.

The second question was slightly different from the first:

1. What social and cultural factors might shape eGovernment?

Our group discussed how the actual web portal may be tailored to specific cultural norms in an attempt to make that portal more friendly and accessible to each culture. For example, having a web portal in Spanish as well as English. The user experience rather than the information itself can infrom eGovernment.

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I found that by engaging three different groups with my article ‘Community and Communication in the Third Age: The Impact of Internet and Cell Phone Use on Attachment to Place in Later :Life in England’ I could slowly refine my teaching approach and more succinctly state the nature of the article and how I perceived it. Each group approached my article with different critiques and added to my own understanding of how some of the assumptions made in the article may be flawed.

Overall I felt that this round robin style of teaching and learning was very effective. After last week’s class I feel that I have an even deeper understanding of my article than before discussion.

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In Gilleard, Hyde and Higgs paper, they discuss how English people over 50 tend to use the Internet as a substitute for geographically based community. Because of limited mobility, older people tend to connect more closely to thier geographical location over time. With the Internet being inexpensive and accessible to those that are physically limited, Gillieard states that older people are using the Internet as a means of transcending geographically bound communities.

Some of Gilleard’s findings are not that surprising to me and are perhaps improperly correlated. In one instance, Gilleard finds that the poor and less educated tend to attach themselves to their geographic community more so than those who are well educated and middle class. This finding would seem rather obvious since both money and a minimum education level are prerequisites for complex internet use and access to online communities. However to say that people are completely substituting geographic community with online community is quite misleading. I would argue that the opposite is true.

In Seattle many online communities such as West Seattle Blog actually support local identity. In a photo project I am working on about fixed gear bicycle clubs, I have found that members organize themselves online for events that happen locally. Without an online component I do not see how the fixed gear community, being especially small, would ever organize a large enough group for a regualr event. I imagine there are many other geographically based niche groups that would not exist without the community building provided by online communities.

APA Citation Regarding Community and Technology

Dhavan S. et al. 2002. Nonrecursive models of Internet use and community engagement: Questioning whether time spent online erodes social capital. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 79(4), 964. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 319151711).

In Shah’s ‘Nonrecursive models of Internet use and community engagement: Questioning whether time spent online erodes social capital’ he claims that frequency of Internet use is positively correlated with civic involvement. With increasing access to better information about political events, community events and social events, the average citizen is actually creating more social ties than those that are being eroded by online community. Shah states “Internet use may promote social interaction and civic engagement because it allows users to reinforce social bonds, gain knowledge, and coordinate their actions to address joint concerns.” It’s true that we have lost ‘face time’ in the modern world, but to lay the blame on online communities rather than other factors such as increased workloads and urban sprawl is narrow-minded. Online participation may in fact lead to renewed social connections in an increasingly fast paced world.

Links:

Fast Friday Fixed Gear Club

Seattle Social Network and Gallery Party Group

West Seattle Blog

South Park: Make Love, Not Warcraft

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