Enhancing development of online communities through a multi-methodological approach

Dafoulas, George ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2638-8771, Kalaitzakis, Manos and Macaulay, Linda (2004) Enhancing development of online communities through a multi-methodological approach. In: Proceedings of the IADIS e-Commerce 2004 Conference. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


most ‘attractive’ roles is its use as a medium for communicating and exchanging ideas as shown from the numerous Online Communities that have been created during the last few years. A key issue regarding Online Communities is that carefully identifying and evaluating the needs of the community’s target member group is equally important to concentrating on the use of supporting software. A methodology that considers both the technical and sociological characteristics of an online community as proposed by Preece, is the Community Centered Development process (CCD) and involves repeated develop-and-test cycles. In previous work, the authors suggested a model for supporting Online Community evolution, adapting the CCD process to accommodate the special characteristics of intensively focused user groups.

The underlying concepts of the Online Community Evolution model are based on experience gained through a Teaching Company Scheme project (TCS) with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) under the coordination and financial support of the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The case study involves Chemical Nutritional Products Ltd. (CNP), manufacturing and selling sport nutrition and weight loss products to professional athletes as well as consumers participating in recreational exercise and fitness activities. The study is primarily concerned with creating and evaluating an Internet Community Portal for CNP.

This paper presents a multi-methodological evaluation approach of the CNP Online Community and discusses key findings. The specific approach consists of three evaluation sessions that are concerned with sociability and usability issues of Online Community development. Initially, a cooperative evaluation involved the observation of five community members while navigating and using basic functions of the community. Some key results from analysing video records of these hour-long sessions are discussed. Next, a survey questionnaire consisting of 90 usability related questions was distributed to participants of an electronic commerce course that covered the CNP case study in detail. Finally, an online survey included responses from 60 members of the CNP community, focusing on sociability, usability, privacy and trust.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science > Intelligent Environments group
Item ID: 8764
Depositing User: George Dafoulas
Date Deposited: 18 May 2015 15:47
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 16:04
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/8764

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