This study looked at the relationship between local and online forms of community engagement for a small group of older people in the South of England. Interviews and a focus group were used to establish understandings of online community and social networking sites (SNS) within the context of existing relationships in local communities. Historical understandings of community influenced expectations for online community with four catalysts being identified which motivated engagement with community resources both online and locally. These were: ‘spaces and places', family, roles and loss. There was a clear preference for meeting people face to face with online communities and SNS being used predominantly as tools for achieving this aim. Exploration of the catalysts offers ways that greater community involvement might be further facilitated through design initiatives. Suggestions include private ‘family rooms', anonymous ‘sharing spaces' and a focus on hyperlocal initiatives to connect local and online communities.
|Title of host publication||48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences|
|Place of Publication||Hawaii|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 8 Jan 2015|
|Event||48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Grand Hyatt, Kauai, 5-8 Jan 2015|
Duration: 8 Jan 2015 → …
|Conference||48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences|
|Period||8/01/15 → …|
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- older people
- online community
Harley, D., Howland, K., Harris, E., & Redlich, C. (2015). 'Nearer to being characters in a book': how older people make sense of online communities and social networking sites. In 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (pp. 2023-2032). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2015.242