Beyond the Web: integrated digital communities

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This paper details two case studies exploring integration within digital communities. Three types of integration are introduced – information, technological and online-offline integration. These concepts are explored through two online fan communities and through a mobile web based system. This paper addresses the idea of balance between offline and online spaces; a key research interest of Sillence’s. It tackles the issue of how design can affect the social use of a system and focuses upon the natural use of multiple communication media. The way in which people use and adapt technology to suit their needs is of interest to Sillence in all her work. She was asked to write this paper by the chair of the Web-based Communities Conference: Sillence, E. (2004a). Media Integration within Web Based Communities. In Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Web Based Communities 2004. Lisbon, Portugal 24-26 March 2004, p175-182. Several papers have argued that involvement in online environments is having a negative social impact. However, her research argues that methodological flaws have encouraged these findings and overlooked the fact that natural settings provide opportunities for the integration of media across an online-offline boundary. Other related publications by her include: Kostakos, V. O’Neill, E., Little, L. & Sillence, E. (2005). The social implications of emerging technologies. Interacting with Computers, 17 (5) 475-483. Sillence, E. & Baber, C. (2004). Integrated Digital Communities: Combining Web-based Interaction with Text Messaging to Develop a System for Encouraging Group Communication and Competition. Interacting with Computers, 16 (1) 93-113 Also edited: Special edition of Interacting with Computers. “The social impact of emerging technologies” 17, 5 (2005).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-371
JournalInternational Journal of Web Based Communities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


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