Online communities for older users: what can we learn from local community interactions to create social sites that work for older people

Harley, Dave, Howland, Kate and Harris, Eric (2014) Online communities for older users: what can we learn from local community interactions to create social sites that work for older people. In: British Human Computer Interaction Conference, 9-12 September 2014, Southport.

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Abstract

This study looked at the significance of family and local community connections in determining online community engagement amongst a sample of older people in the south of England. Four catalysts were identified which motivated engagement with local and online forms of community and these were: family, roles, loss and ‘spaces and places’. SNS use (primarily Facebook) was largely family-focussed but alternative social motives were evident in relation to other forms of online community. There was a clear preference for meeting face to face with online communities and social networking sites being used predominantly as tools for achieving this aim. Exploration of the catalysts offers ways that greater community involvement might be further facilitated through social and design initiatives. Suggestions include private ‘family rooms’ within Facebook, anonymous ‘sharing spaces’ in elder-specific communities and a focus on hyperlocal initiatives to connect local and online communities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0076 Computer software
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Depositing User: Kate Howland
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 14:18
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 14:18
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/50547

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