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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Discovering the Sociability Needs of Two Types of Discussion Board Communities

Discovering the Sociability Needs of Two Types of Discussion Board Communities
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Author(s): Chadia Abras (Goucher College, USA), Ant Ozok (UMBC, USA) and Jennifer Preece (UMD, USA)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Modern Organizations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-822-2.ch145
ISBN13: 9781616921293
EISBN13: 9781466665354


The purpose of this study is to discover the sociability needs of two types of online discussion board communities. The two types of communities investigated in this study are support communities for PhD students and support communities for patients. By investigating these two types of community’s needs we can see how the purpose of the community affects its sociability needs. In the study, we derive the initial set of needs (referred to as Heuristics) from the literature and then, using questionnaires and interviews, we collect the communities’ opinions. Finally, using cluster analysis we condense the findings down to sets of heuristics which online community developers can use. The emphasis in this study is on discovering what the communities want by asking community participants. The novel part of this study is the iterative way in which we collect and condense input from the community into a set of design heuristics for developers of these kinds of bulletin board-supported communities.

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