Keeping In Touch

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Fac Creative Arts, Humanities & Education


This report is the first iteration of a series of questions that would support the development of a digital communications strategy for communities of interest or place.
Any such strategy needs to work with already existing key nodes in the network of community communication. Projects which build on people's everyday practice are more sustainable than those which introduce completely new technologies or activities.
Diverse of models of change underpin different uses of communications technologies.
There were few examples of private sector initiatives in our survey.
Respondents did not talk about 'community strengthening' but about connecting to people, sharing information and joining in events and activities. Community life was described in terms of activities, encounters, collaborations and meetings.
There is no 'one size fits all' solution but rather weaving technology into community activities in ways which best suit individual communication preferences and group purpose.
Technology adoption is prompted by direct personal relevance. Understanding this adoption process enables key people to introduce useful enabling practices that go with the grain of relationship-driven patterns of connectivity.
The skills developed around the functions of 'community management' in commercial media practice could be usefully adapted to the aims of connecting communities.


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