Online Communities

Work Spaces and VLEs

Social Network


Social Bookmarking




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What are they?

Online Communities:

  • Blogs, Microblogs
  • Online Work Spaces
  • User-generated reference sites (Wikis)
  • Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Webmail
  • VLEs
  • Social Networking

Each  has different:

- Functions

- Features

- Target Audience

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Online Workspaces and VLEs

Online workspacesare for people who work together, and VLEs for a group to learn together.


  •  Virtual Meetings (VoIP)
  • Email, Chat
  • Shared Resources
  • Online Applications


  • Timetable / News
  • Email, Chat
  • Track Progress
  • Personalisation
  • Polls / Questionnaires
  • Blogs
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Social Networks

An online community where people are linked using their personal information


  • Have an online presence
  • Links
  • Allows users to stay in contact
  • Exchange Information

Target Audience:

  • LinkedIn - Business People
  • Bebo - Younger teens

Advantages: Easier contact, Post information, Free to join, Efficient communication

Disadvantages: Wates time, Fake profiles, Online Bullying, Identity Theft

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User-generated reference sites

Allow users to contribute and share information.

  • Wikis
  • Internet Forums or Message Boards
  • Newsgroups
  • Review Sites

Target Audiences are anyone who wants to contribute or access informaiton stored on the sites.

Advantages: Up to date, Communcation from around the world, Contain vast amounts of information

Disadvantages: Information can be inaccurate, biased or untrue, An internet connection is requried, Disorganised information

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Social Bookmarking

Users add weblinks to their space


  • Store URLs online
  • Tag words to categorise
  • Share bookmarks
  • Search for similar bookmarks from other users
  • Like / Dislike features

Pinterest: Users create 'pinboards' to organise and share images they like on the web

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Creation of Knowledge

Information is no longer confinded to traditional publishers and newspapers

  • Spreadsheets and Databases help create idea
  • Global scale communication
  • Constantly updated information
  • Information and knowledge  is accessible to everyone
  • Users (not editors) decide what is important

This means:

  • Large numbers of viewpoints can be collected
  • Variety pf views can be overwhelming
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Impact on Working Practices


  • Workers telecommute (Work from home)
  • Cloud computing allows access to documents from anywhere
  • Decisions are made through online workspaces
  • Employers can check Social Networks for potential employees
  • People avoid face-to-face contact
  • People work at home
  • Workers without interent access miss out
  • Workers disciplined due to updates on Social Networks

Collaborative Working: Working together on VoIP, Email, IM, Social Networking or Online Workspaces

Teleworking: Working at home and using technology to stay in contact with colleagues

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Socialising and Responsible Use

Ways of socialiasing:

  • Social Networking, Microblogging, Online Gaming, Chat Rooms, VoIP, Emails, Virtual Worlds
  • Sites such as 'Friends Reunited'
  • Online Dating

Impacts on Socialising:

  • Easy contact
  • Easy translation between languages
  • 24/7, 365 
  • Need internet connection
  • Identity Theft
  • Less time spent with real friends

Behaving in acceptable ways:

  • Respecting others computers and opinions
  • Abiding by Copyright Laws
  • Not posting inappropriate images or videos
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A Global Scale

  • VLEs
  • Social Networking
  • Microblogging
  • Email
  • Video Conferencing
  • VoIP
  • Cloud Computing
  • Sharing data online
  • Blogs
  • Online Work Spaces
  • User-genertaed Reference Sites
  • Social Bookmarking


  • ICT has speeded up globalisation
  • Purchase goods around the world 24/7, any day of the week
  • Access is now controlled and censored for: Politics, Security, Protection
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