Web-based Community Networks: A Study of Information Organization and Access
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Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics
This paper reports a subset of the results a research project designed to assess the current state of state-funded community networking in Indiana. It explores the organization of information resources and services provided by 24 web-based community networks, examines the core design principles that have been most useful in the development of these community network (CN) sites and assesses the strategies currently used to provide access to these information resources and services. Using a variety of methods, including content analysis of web sites, interviews with CN board members, echnical staff, and users, and site visits, the study examined the 24 state-funded CNs and attempted to answer a set of research questions, a subset of which will be reported here. The study found that the CN sites have useful and usable technical infrastructures in place but are lacking the deep and meaningful local content and services that will allow them to become important nodes in their communities' digital information environments.
social informatics, community network, Access Indiana, website, information organization, content analysis
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