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Online communities: An ecology for knowledge collaboration


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Blakey, J, Wolski, M and Richardson, J 2013 , 'Online communities: An ecology for knowledge collaboration', paper presented at the THETA: The Higher Education Technology Agenda 2013, 7-10 April 2013, Hobart, Tasmania.

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Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


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.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Blakey, J and Wolski, M and Richardson, J
Keywords: THETA
Additional Information:

Copyright 2013 THETA: The Higher Education Technology Agenda

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