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The purpose of the book is to set up a framework for discussions on social and technical issues of online communities. Designing usability and supporting sociability lays a solid foundation on which online communities can grow and thrive. Intended for both students and computer professionals, the book addresses the development of new online communities as well as the improvement of existing ones. It is divided into two parts - Getting Acquainted with Online Communities and Developing Online Communities - along with a preface and a concluding chapter which explores the future of online communities. For sample chapters and other resources, please check out the web site for the book at www.ifsm.umbc.edu/onlinecommunities.
GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH ONLINE COMMUNITIES.
Sociability: Purpose, People, and Policies.
Usability: Tasks, Users, and Software.
Research Speaks to Practice: Interpersonal Communication.
Research Speaks to Practice: Groups.
DEVELOPING ONLINE COMMUNITIES.
Guidelines: Sociability and Usability.
Assessing Needs and Evaluating Communities.
Development Case Studies.
Looking to the Future.
Who should read this book? Clearly, developers of next-generation virtual community tools, services and applications should adopt this as their bible. The struggle for the soul of cyberspace has begun, and Preece goes a long way toward opening up this process.
Posted September 2, 2000
It is a most comprehensive look at the 'state of the art' concerning online communities. With good case studies and many examples, Preece provides a rational analysis of what we know and don't know about what makes online discussion forums of all types work or not work. Preece is an advocate of community centric development, an outgrowth of rapid application development modified to support the special needs of virtual communities. This book details this methodology right down to the deliverables. She makes a major contribution with the concept of sociability - those policies and management practices, the language and informatics that define an online community's culture. She provides extensive guidelines on all aspects of sociability. This book is a must read for anyone involved in interactive websites, moderating or building online communities, or teaching the subject. It is not overally academic and very readable.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.