'Nearer to being characters in a book': how older people make sense of online communities and social networking sites

David Harley, Kate Howland, Eric Harris, Cara Redlich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Place of PublicationHawaii
PublisherIEEE
Pages2023-2032
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2015
Event48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Grand Hyatt, Kauai, 5-8 Jan 2015
Duration: 8 Jan 2015 → …

Conference

Conference48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Period8/01/15 → …

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • SNS
  • aging
  • older people
  • online community

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    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