Topic 5: Online communities

  • Created by: Myst123
  • Created on: 06-03-18 10:00

Online communities

  • Social networking:
    • Public social networks e.g. Facebook
  • Webmail
  • Virtual Learning Environments e.g. a school VLE
  • Virtual worlds
  • User-generated reference sites & social bookmarking sites:
    • Forums/ message boards
    • Wikis e.g. Wikipedia
  • Online workspaces:
    • Web conferencing e.g. Adobe Connect
  • Blogs
    • Microblogs e.g. Twitter
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Online communities

Social spaces

  • Blogging
    • e.g. weblogging, photo blogging and vlogging
  • Microblogging
    • e.g. Twitter or Facebook’s ‘status update’
  • Public social networking 
    • Social networks form connections between users’ profiles through personal information.
    • Often use blogging / microblogging / Chat features.
  • Professional networks 
    • Some business orientated social networks used to enhance users’ employment opportunities
    • e.g. LinkedIn.
  • Chat / Video chat
    • e.g. MSN Messenger, Skype.


  • Web conferencingonline service by which you can hold live meetings, conferencing, presentations - using Internet /VoIP connection
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Online communities

User-generated reference sites and social bookmarking

  • Forums/message boards
  • Wikis

Massively Multiplayer Online [Communities] (MMOs)

  • Virtual worlds
    • e.g. Second Life.
  • Gaming communities
    • e.g. MMORPGs.
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Online workspaces

Provide virtual space - people work together to meet, share files & work collaboratively online.

  • Virtual meetings: online conferencing & VoIP inc virtual whiteboards
  • Shared folders and files
  • Email, chat
  • Online applications
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Virtual Learning Environment


  • Provide information to help students learn: access to additional notes + homework in school - need an Internet connection.
  • Teachers - work collaboratively - create high-quality learning material


  • Timetable . "news" for staff and students
  • Students, teachers & parents track progress & data e.g. test marks
  • Personalisation for individual marks.
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Social networks

Online community - people linked together using personal information


  • Users have online presence
  • Links users with others using personal information
  • Users stay in touch with other people
  • Exchange information e.g. photographs, videos with others

Target audience:

  • Linkedln
    • aimed at business people with advice given by industry experts
  • Bebo
    • aimed at younger teens with areas for gaming & music videos
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Social networks


  • Easily create personal page
  • Keep in contact with people
  • Make new friends with similar interests
  • Post interesting things about yourself
  • Often free to join & use
  • Easy way to share different types of information
  • Efficient way - communicate with lot of people
  • Moderators prevent inappropriate posting
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Social networks


  • Wastes a lot of time
  • Fake profiles created
  • Loss of privacy
  • Online bullying
  • Posting content - compromising photos - embarrassing
  • GPS tagging - risk to user's safety - if location revealed
  • Inexperienced users - give away personal details - risk personal safety / security
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User-generated reference sites

Allow users to contribute, share information, generate content collaboratively on a website


  • Wikis - add / edit content collaboratively
  • Internet forums/message boards - hold discussions - posting messages about certain subject
  • Newsgroups - communities like message boards - discuss a particular topic
  • Review sites - post reviews - inform potential customers of product/service considering buying


  • Ability to add/edit content
  • Changes can be tracked - see who made contributions
  • Hyperlinked pages & images
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Advantages & disadvantages of wikis


  • Easily changed = up-to-date information
  • Different parts of the world can work together
  • Do not pay a fee + contain huge amount of information


  • Information can become inaccurate, biased or untrue
  • Internet connection needed
  • May become disorganised + include errors & duplication
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Social bookmarking sites

Users add + share bookmarks (weblinks)

  • Pinterest: users create "pinboards" organise & share images they like on web
  • Digg: social news website - allows people to share news + rate its importance
  • Delicious: users create "stacks2 of content on a particular theme


  • Store URLs online
  • Give tag words to categorise URLs
  • Tags used to search bookmarks by topic/category
  • Share bookmarks with others online
  • Search for similar bookmarks from other users using tags
  • Users can like or dislike content
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Ways in which ICT is changing the way knowledge is

Knowledge - information & skills gained through experience or education

  • Tools e.g. spreadsheets, databasescreate ideas, model different situations & solve problems
  • Communicate, collaborate & share ideas on global scale
  • Information constantly updated + always open for improvement e.g. entries on Wikipedia
  • Information + knowledge made accessible to everyone through ICT.
    • e.g. University students can take courses + communicate with tutors online
  • Users (instead of editors) decide what information is important
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Ways in which ICT is changing the way knowledge is

Ability to create content + knowledge & publish information: open to anyone with an Internet connection. Made a difference to the way information created + shared.


  • A large number of viewpoints = richer, more rounded picture


  • Variety of viewpoints - overwhelming for users
  • Nobody checks / edit what is published online: important to select relevant information + from valid source.
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Impact on working practices


  • Workers telecommute + work from home. Don't have to live close to work.
  • Cloud computing - workers access documents  / programs from anywhere with Internet access
  • Decisions made more effectively through online workspace - see + agree changes to document at same time
  • Employers check social networks to research potential employees


  • Avoid face-to-face contact
  • May feel pressured to work when away from office
  • Without Internet access - workers left out of making important decisions
  • Employees disciplined for defamatory posts on social networks = considered equal to publishing in newspaper.
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Work in different ways

Collaborative working:

  • working together as a group to achieve common goals
  • Helped by VoIP, email , online chat, social networking and online work spaces.


  • Work together on same documents online & share ideas
  • Working as a group = Get more done in less time
  • Help each other solve problems


  • Cannot read body language in meetings
  • Work lost if users write others' contributions
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Work in different ways

Teleworking: working at home + staying in touch with others with help of technology


  • Saves money - no need to pay for transport to work
  • Flexible - people can work when and where they like
  • Increased productivity - less time lost travelling
  • Reduces pollution - no need to travel to work


  • Less social time - can feel isolated
  • Easy to work for long hours = get no break
  • Distractions at home = work does not get completed
  • Dependent on having Internet connection
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Impact of Internet on ways of socialising

Socialising - how you get along with others e.g. social networking, online dating


  • Easy way for people to keep in contact
  • Easy translations between languages
  • Available 24 / 7/ 365
  • Need an Internet connection to keep in touch
  • People can pretend to be someone they're not
  • People spend less time with real friends
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Responsible use & acceptable behaviour

Acceptable behaviour includes:

  • Respecting others' opinions online
  • Abiding by copyright law 
  • Not posting inappropriate images or videos

Acceptable Use Policy / Code of Conduct

  • Set of rules that set out how to behave when using the website.
  • Have to agree before using the website
  • Otherwise, online account is withdrawn
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A Global Scale

ICT + Internet: allow communication + collaboration on global scale

Globalisation: increasing global relationships between cultures, people and economic activity.

ICT speeded up process of globalisation.

Easy to make purchases from around the world 24 / 7 / 365

Select and pay for goods from around the world without leaving our homes.

By ICT - companies have now "gone global" with offices and customers around world.

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