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The organizational design of online communities clearly has to embody both dimensions of what an online community stands for: an organization of a community of people (social dimension) interacting online (technology dimension). A careful balance between the two is to be realized in a social informatics service that has to be designed in order to “drive” its potential users, the community members, toward bottom-up community creation and maintenance. In order to achieve the bottom-up effect, the focus is on the design of the social informatics service. This service should entail the prerequisite characteristics that “weave” a community than to merely provide a set of rules and regulations for the service’s users. It is crucial for every user to build their own environment within the online community than to be restricted by rules imported manually by other users – the technological metaphor of “bullying.” Simultaneously, the characteristics of the service itself should set the boundaries of the social interaction online, thus avoiding anarchy. The chapter focuses on certain aspects of design guidelines for social informatics service designers aimed at empowering online communities with emphasis on seamless, next to “real-life” parameters and patterns. Underlining the importance of simplicity, tangible value, and engagement, the guidelines approach the task from two distinctive directions, the first being the governing parameters and the second being the correlating patterns.
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- Organizational Design of Online Communities
Athina A. Lazakidou
- Springer New York
- Chapter 4
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