is this Study about?
This Study aims to further our knowledge of
how communities develop, by examining communication patterns using qualitative
methods (e.g. focus groups) and others, to examine existing communication patterns and
discover requirements, and to log tool use. The main deliverable provides recommendations
concerning community tool use.
The main questions to be answered
What makes an online business community
successful? How is success measured and what are the determinants of that success? And
finally, is there a predictable pattern in communication tool use, and is that pattern
related to either the types of relationship that exist online, or the types of information
exchange that take place within and between online communities?
The scope of the Study is to further
clarify the user needs examined during EURESCOM Project P902, in order to make more
detailed recommendations for future community services. The focus is on already existing
communities; that is, the various research teams of the TelCos involved in this Study.
These are appropriate because:
- Some of the people involved already know each other offline,
and some do not this ensures a mix of peer, federal and hierarchical relationships.
- The information needs of research teams are diverse and
numerous this will be a rigorous test of search facilities available to the TelCos
involved in the Study.
- The communications needs of research teams are also
numerous, and because of the Europe-wide location of the people involved, it is expected
that both audio and video conferencing will be used at some stage, along with other
asynchronous tools, and possibly application sharing and text chat.
This Study is also relevant for EURESCOM
because it provides us with knowledge as to our own communication and information needs,
and how these vary across countries and relationships. It helps us to determine the most
economic forms of communication that can be used under any circumstance without detracting
from the communication itself. It will also provide clear guidelines for community service
development, which is important in the context of the global communications market.
What are the key results of this
- Further clarify the relationships between communication tool
use and relationship types and stages.
- Determine what factors inhibit or encourage the growth of
- Make recommendations as to the types of communication and
information tools that are used to best enhance and sustain online communities.