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  • 1. Day The Journal of Community Informatics, Vol. 1 No. 2 Special Issue: Sustainabilty and Community ICTs Sustainable Community Technology: The symbiosis between community technology and community research Peter Day School of Computing, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK < > Abstract The social sustainability of any community technology activity is dependent on whether or not it forms an integral part of, and contributes to, the shared experiences that constitute community life. Drawing from this premise the paper presents a human-centred exploration of community informatics (CI) by proposing that, as a field of study and practice, a central goal should be to develop shared understandings of ways in which ICT contribute to building and sustaining active and healthy communities. The diversity of community ICT practices have the potential to contribute to a collective knowledgebase that is not only of import as a resource for academic investigation but also in terms of its broader social significance to community life. With this in mind, the authors analyse and critically evaluate the significance of the emerging symbiosis between community technology and community research. Applying a human-centred perspective of CI to a community technology research and development project the paper concludes with a story about Black Elk, a Lakota shaman, as a metaphor for the relationship between community technology and community research. Introduction The use of information communication technology (ICT) for and by local communities is not a new social phenomenon. Community ICT initiatives[1] have proliferated, with varying degrees of success, since the emergence of community telecottages (teleservice centres) and community networks during the 1980s (Day, 2001). The social contributions of many of these community technology initiatives have grown in significance as their activities have matured. However, such contributions have generally been confined to the micro level of their parent local community and voluntary sector infrastructures. Until recently, the existence of community technology as a macro-level social phenomenon has been masked 1 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 2. Day by the pervasive power of the techno-economic, monochromatic and homogenising worldview of the network society promulgated by commercial and public sectors (and, with some notable exceptions, many academics). However, this top-down worldview is increasingly exposed as an irrelevance to a culturally diverse global civil society (Schuler & Day, 2004) across which an alternative, bottom-up approach to communication technology at community level (Day & Schuler, 2004) is emerging across the globe. As the use of ICT by social movements, civil society, international development initiatives and other bottom-up social aggregations proliferates so a language to define, describe and explain these activities will undoubtedly be developed by the academic research community. It is worth noting however that such a language, if it is to have any social resonance, must be understood by and acceptable to a diverse range of social practitioners and policy makers as well as academics. In a community context, the escalation and intensification of ICT utilisation to support community practices (community technology) has been accompanied by the emergence of the term Community Informatics or CI as a collective label to encompass the diversity of community technology or networking activities. The adoption of this term (Gurstein, 2000; Keeble & Loader, 2001) appears to be generally acceptable within the academic research community however it remains to be seen whether community practitioners and policy will embrace the term as enthusiastically. With this proviso in mind we take the opportunity of this paper to present: 1) our perspective of the ethos that CI should embrace if it is to be welcomed by community practice & policy, and 2) map out some ideas as to how community research can contribute to sustainable partnerships between practice, policy and research in the community. Community Informatics & sustainability Definitions from two recent Community Informatics texts provide us with helpful insights into the rationale and motivating spirit of CI as a field of practice. The first, describes Community Informatics as the application of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to enable community processes and the achievement of community objectives (Gurstein, 2003, p. 77). The second asserts that Community Informatics concerns itself with the application of ICT for local community benefit (Taylor, 2004, p. 2). Of course, both perspectives are normative statements that promote a view of how Community Informatics should be linked to the lived experiences and needs of local communities. But can academic researchers be responsive to such an approach? Or does the hierarchical culture of academic institutions, many of which are increasingly influenced by market mechanisms and driven by performance targets socialise them to operate in a reality that is inhospitable to community-university partnerships of any worth? Similarly, can community technology initiatives, many of which start off as academic projects, be incorporated and sustained as significant components of the community infrastructure? From economic sustainability. The sustainability of community technology initiatives is problematic in that it is often considered within an economic or funding framework. Even where initiatives have been successful in 1) navigating through the tortuous bureaucratic demands of funding programmes and agencies, and 2) competing against other initiatives to attract financial support from the limited pots of money available to them, the short-term solutions presented by most funding programmes all too frequently means that in the daily battle for survival, community technology managers are never far from the treadmill of proposal 2 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 3. Day writing. Even temporary financial sustainability is often only achieved as a result of heroic efforts by initiative team members, who, sometimes at great personal sacrifice, find innovative ways to exploit complex and obscure funding sources (Day, 2001). The financial sustainability of community ICT initiatives needs policy-makers and funders to acknowledge their long-term responsibilities and involvement. The short-term approach often found in policy development and funding mechanisms is detrimental to the viability of community technology initiatives (Day & Harris, 1997; Shearman, 1999) Assuming that the purpose of funding community technology initiatives is, in part at least, related to a desire by the funders to make a beneficial contribution to the infrastructure of community life, then it must be clearly understood that the 'project culture' and 'social experiment' approaches of many public access ICT programmes are incompatible with meaningful attempts to build and sustain active and healthy communities in the network society. To social sustainability! Funding considerations aside, the sustainability of community technology will ultimately be determined by communities themselves. If a community technology initiative aims to form an integral part of, and contribute to, the shared experiences of community life[2], then it must be communities themselves that define and manage the fitness or applicability of that initiative. Active participation of a local community, at every stage of a project s life cycle, is essential if the community is to identify with, and develop a sense of ownership of, an initiative. Active citizenship, human-centred design and communal participation from the early planning stages are therefore prerequisites for sustainability and are, in our opinion, issues that academics active in the field need to grapple with. A human-centred approach to Community Informatics research With these pre-requisites in mind, our contribution to the CI journal s consideration of sustainability comprises three main elements: · establishing a working framework of human-centred design for CI and sustainability · synchronising the components of this framework to the key components of CI – community, communication & technology · illuminating issues that emerge from a consideration of the tensions between community practice and community research in a CI context A Human centred systems framework In Europe, the human-centred systems tradition is best understood as a normative framework that facilitates a multi-level approach to observation rather than a set of scientific statements or principles (Qvortrup, 1996) that dictate best practice. Human- centredness rejects the deterministic credo of scientific management (Taylor, 1998) often found in traditional academic research, where quantifiability, calculability and predictability 3 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 4. Day determine one best way interpretations of social conditions. Communities are diverse social constructs, in which it is possible to identify and observe the complete spectrum of the human condition. By definition therefore, communities are contested spaces in which conflict, discord and disharmony can be found in juxtaposition to concord, accord and harmony. A human-centred approach to Community Informatics recognises the realities of community life by attempting to incorporate them into the design, implementation and development of community technologies. At this point we present 4 core human-centred concepts for consideration – human purpose, cultural diversity, technology as tool, and social cohesion: 1) Applying Rosenbrock s thesis of human purpose (1990) to Community Informatics enables us to evaluate the tensions that exist between the competing social agenda of funders, technologists, community and voluntary sector groups, public sector agencies, researchers, and communities themselves. For Rosenbrock, purpose is a human construct - a myth that 'mankind' imposes upon nature in order to understand the world in which we live. The human-centred tradition acknowledges that no single form of human purpose exists. Consequently, any critical analysis of community purpose will uncover a number of inherent power relationship issues arising from the interactions between the various, individuals, families, groups and networks that constitute community and its social environment (including technology experts, researchers, funding agencies, governments, amongst others). 2) Cultural diversity is recognised as a significant contribution to the development of any extensive human knowledgebase and diversity between cultures is valued and celebrated. Within a community policy context this requires an understanding that no two communities are alike. Each has different norms and cultural value systems historically constructed as a result of social circumstances. Community information society policies must acknowledge and reflect this diversity. Such an approach not only extends our social understanding but also acts as a counter to the homogenising processes of trans-corporate globalisation. 3) In the human-centred design process, technology is viewed as a tool to be designed, used and shaped by humans for human purposes. (Cooley, 1996). The human-centred approach argues that community communication systems should integrate human judgement, tacit knowledge, intuition and imagination with scientific or rule-based methods in a symbiotic totality (Cooley, 1987). In contrast to the deterministic approach of some technologists, a human-centred perspective of community technology enables communities to make their own qualitative, subjective judgements. Technological systems are subordinated to human, or community, needs across a broad spectrum of considerations – not just in terms of service requirements and applications but in fundamental system designs as well. 4) Because communication is a central dynamic of active community life, social cohesion – which focuses on the promotion of social dialogue, or communications, with a view to improving the human condition (ACCORDE, 1995) – forms the final component of this human-centred context. Social cohesion is inextricably linked to the valorisation of diversity outlined above. Gill observes, social cohesion is about promoting a culture of shared communication, values and knowledge, seeking 4 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 5. Day coherence through valorisation of diversity (1997). Promoting social dialogue through communication that valorises diversity is crucial to the human-centred approach. Social cohesion requires management of difference through respect and trust. Building a communication space in which knowledge can be exchanged within and between diverse cultures is a central goal of a human-centred community technology approach. Understanding CI components Establishing a working paradigm of human-centred Community Informatics requires us to consider its constituent components – community, communication and technology – as indivisible parts of a unique and interdependent whole. Much confusion has arisen in treating these fundamental elements as self-evident categories that only require some technical flourishes or naturally-occurring catalysts to make them inter-operate with one another. By regarding these individual components as parts of a dynamic community-driven system, we are in a better position to formulate some core normative features of Community Informatics (Day, 2004). Considered from the perspective of human-centred design, the major component of the system – community – is quite clearly the most human-centred, comprising as it does of relationships and interactions between people. It is community that should form the base element of the CI approach. It is community – despite the contested nature of this space – that should provide overall meaning and an essential departure point for any discussions about CI. For a dynamic system to operate on the basis of human-centred design, all the elements of the system have to share some critical common ground. The second component – communication – is often viewed as ranging from the dispassionate technical transmission of discrete packets of information to intensely elaborated strands of coded content with the potential for multiple interpretations and meanings. The common ground here is in recognising that community communication is a dynamic process, with various meanings for the people involved, with varying attitudes toward privacy and published access, with various motives behind the act of communication. Definitions of what constitutes the personal, informal and dialogic in communication, as opposed to that which is public, external and functional should come from the communities themselves. Equally, defining the spectra along which these oppositions are located as well as their gateways of closure or release is a matter for the communities themselves. As Koch once noted, all communication, whether characterised as information, content or understanding, always carries with it someone s wishes, lies and dreams (1980). The third component – technology – is often assumed to be value-free, detached, and an external factor supplied without interference or affect by well-intentioned specialists. From the technical perspective, these assumptions, based as they are on a classical scientific research model, are assumed to operate uniformly throughout the entire system. Often, given the hard-wired nature of ICT and the top-down approach accompanying it, technocratic values can sometimes invisibly and unintentionally saturate an entire community technology initiative. In order for the technical component to function as part of the CI system, and to create a 5 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 6. Day unique whole which is greater than the sum of its parts, they have to be filtered through a human-centred lens from the outset. Issues around cost, access and control, around privacy and distribution, amongst many others, have to be considered at the design stage from a human or community centred perspective. The problem with technologists who concern themselves solely with the nuts and bolts of technological development is that they often lack the capacity for social analysis. Fundamental questions relating to the purpose or need of particular community communication technology are often ignored. This incapacity for social analysis and its application to the design, implementation and development processes often means that imbalances in power relationships between those with the resources to finance and drive technological developments, those with technical knowledge and expertise, and those in social need are frequently overlooked. Because our perspective is rooted in human-centredness, its overriding dynamic is driven by human values rather than technological imperatives. Technological imperatives which distort human or community actions are ultimately dysfunctional and form a dangerous basis for determining community policy and practice. Emergent issues This brings us to the other main drivers of the process: power, ownership, distribution, and the disparate nature of communication. We mention these because despite the best intentions of most CI researchers even those who acknowledge the significance of reciprocity, mutuality, and participation, the fundamental questions of who benefits from community technology, who owns it, who controls its distribution and applications, and who defines the nature of communication are central to any consideration of the sustainability of community technology. In traditional research such issues are often overlooked, with power reserved to the research team in often invisible and ultimately dysfunctional ways. For the human-centred notions of reciprocity, mutuality, and participation to be put into practice, power has to be transparently addressed, democratically distributed, and, at least from the researcher s perspective, partially surrendered. Community research & practice: Whose reality is it anyway? The scope and significance of the knowledgebase that can emerge from CI partnerships between community technology and community research is enormous, both in terms of academic investigation and as a dynamic, collaborative community resource (Day, 2003a & Day & Schuler, 2004) However, for such a knowledgebase to be achieved a shared understanding between practice and research is required so that common ground can be mapped out. Tensions between community technology practitioners and researchers are not uncommon and honesty and respect are paramount if such partnerships are to be sustainable. Often, 6 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 7. Day but not always, such tensions result from a distrust of academic researchers on the part of local communities. Stories abound of researchers who sometimes give the impression that the community exists solely for the convenience of their personal research. In such cases, having convinced a community of the benefits of the research and having collected the data, researchers then leave the community to their own devices once the research funding has run out or the researcher s interest waned. So who benefits from community research and can Community Informatics researchers guarantee that they are different from the researchers above? The truth is that because Community Informatics is still an emergent area of research – yet to arrive at a common set of assumptions, definitions and practices – it might be too early to tell. Although this condition of uncertainty can be frustrating, it can be regarded as a healthy sign of CI s continuing evolution and development. However, it should be understood that any investigation in a community environment can be perceived as an intrusion. Such research must be conducted sensitively and with respect. It must be completely transparent and sanctioned by the community itself. Above all, it must prioritise community need before research need. Linking community research and community development in this way places a heavy ethical and social responsibility on researchers but it also presents them with a number of exciting challenges. The CNA project & Participatory Action Research These fundamental perceptions of the nature, role and purpose of community research were the prime conceptual motivators behind the Community Network Analysis (CNA) and ICT: bridging & building community ties project. An Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project funded through the People at the Centre of Communication and Information Technology (PACCIT) research programme (Day, 2003b) this community research project is grounded in the principles of participatory action research (PAR). Founded on a partnership between a team of researchers from the University of Brighton and the Sussex Community Internet Project (SCIP), CNA is grounded in a participatory research philosophy. The project employs a range of participatory tools and techniques[3] to examine the use of ICT in local communities. CNA is investigating if, and how, network technologies affect social network ties and facilitate social cohesion and community building. In addition the project team is developing a contextualised approach to ICT learning, that we call participatory learning workshops (PLW). These workshops site community ICT training and learning within the needs and experiences of the local communities themselves. Finally, using participatory design techniques, the project will design, implement and develop a community communications space in partnership with participating communities. The adoption of a human-centred approach to community technology, grounded as it is in the design of technologies to address social need, meant that an appropriate methodological approach for the CNA project should reflect a 7 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 8. Day process of systematic inquiry, in which those who are experiencing a problematic situation in a community or workplace participate collaboratively with trained researchers as subjects, in deciding the focus of knowledge generation, in collecting and analyzing information, and in taking action to manage, improve, or solve their problem situation. (Deshler & Ewert, 1995) A Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach was selected to emphasise active collaboration between the participating communities, the university researchers and SCIP. Where community research is intertwined with community development, as is the case with CNA, PAR methodologies are useful in facilitating the requisite conditions of mutual trust, respect and reciprocity between community and researchers. Enabling community participants to voice their needs and have these expressed needs contribute to shaping and driving the project development, along with its contribution to the infrastructure of community life is central to the CNA ethos and encourages the development of equitable partnerships that draw from and share the knowledge, skills and expertise of all participants. We believe that reciprocal relationships are founded on interdependence of knowledge rather than isolated hierarchies of knowledge. Solutions to community problems should not be reliant solely on the knowledge of external expertise (the researchers), which often disappears as soon as the funding runs out, or when the subject under investigation (the community) is deemed no longer worthy of academic interest. On the one hand, PAR demands from researchers a lasting interest in and commitment to the community and its needs; on the other hand, it requires an a priori commitment to the development of knowledge. It further requires that this knowledge not be regarded solely as an academic construct (although this is obviously of importance to the researchers) but as a means to finding solutions to community problems and, equally as important, as a communal resource to be accessed, drawn upon and updated whenever necessary. In order to better sustain the principles of human-centeredness and support the technical rigours of PAR, our CNA project hopes to develop, amongst other innovations, a Code of Practice[4] for community researchers - a variation on the Hippocratic Oath of bounded responsibility based on ethical guidelines. We believe that such a charter could be incorporated eventually into project briefs as a form of contract, thereby providing participants and partners alike with a transparent code of research conduct. Another important issue is ownership. The term whose reality is it anyway not only refers to the problems of directing research, but also to the process whereby that information/knowledge is distributed and presented. Researchers need to recognise that issues of community control and ownership are fundamental: What is the difference between formal and informal communication and explicit and tacit knowledge? Who does it belong to? Who determines its authenticity? Who decides on rights to public access? Who benefits? Finding solutions to such questions must ultimately rest with the community itself. But by drawing on the skills, knowledge and expertise of researchers, communities can decide which areas of knowledge generation are required to solve any problems they face. By working with researchers to collect, collate, classify and analyse community information, members of communities not only begin to expand their own capacity to undertake such exercises in the future but also renew their acquaintance with and gain control over the 8 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 9. Day assets, resources and agencies that exist in their own backyard. PAR not only provides researchers with insights and data that more traditional methodological approaches could never hope to elicit but also reacquaints community members with, and enables them to develop an understanding of, the many facets of their lived community experience . Conclusion In writing this paper for the Sustainability issue of the Journal of Community Informatics it has been our purpose to present a thought-provoking contribution intended to identify and discuss, albeit briefly, a number of issues of relevance to sustainability and community technology. For the purpose of orientation and contextualisation, we believe that the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) should consider the conceptual meaning of Community Informatics. We accept that any such orientation will be, by definition, an exercise in shared normative thinking and see this as mutually beneficial and reinforcing. We understand that a consequence of any such discourse may well result in a diversity of interpretations and perceptions of the field. However, if our paper results in such differences and commonalities being discussed then we will consider our contribution successful. Coda We finish with a story – or rather a metaphor which encapsulates many of the concepts, practices and dangers which have been touched on throughout this paper. It is the story of a Native American called Black Elk, a Lakota shaman and warrior, co-author of the most celebrated Native autobiography ever written, Black Elk Speaks. Born on the Great Plains in the mid-19th century, Black Elk lived through the tumultuous era of the Western Wars, fought against General Custer, survived the Massacre at Wounded Knee, only to suffer the continuing hardships of reservation life. Black Elk s visionary powers and mastery of Lakota culture soon became legendary, so much so that in the 1920s John Neihardt, a non-Native writer and poet, sought out the elderly Black Elk to record his memoirs. For over 18 months, John Neihardt interviewed Black Elk, working with Black Elk s son and his own daughter as translator and stenographer respectively. However, they were not alone - there were some significant others involved, yet almost invisible in the final published text. Through word of mouth and invitation, a chorus of Black Elk s friends and companions appeared at the interviews, surrounding him in a kind of Greek chorus. They would comment on his words during the interviews, add elements, gently chide or jest with him, expound for the record that which they collectively knew to be significant or noteworthy. For all the Lakota present, any single individual, no matter how accomplished at Lakota culture and history, could never exist or be considered apart from the Lakota community, could never create an its own autobiography, or could never compile a history without there being an exercise in collective memory. We have described Black Elk Speaks as the most celebrated Native autobiography ever written, and yet Native American cultures were exclusively oral - indigenous written histories simply did not exist. This explains the title, but who decided to publish in book form, and 9 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 10. Day with all the diversity of contributing voices, who decided on the final version? Why John Neihardt, of course! He had the tape recorder, he had the transcripts, he edited the documents, he constructed the narrative, he had the publisher, and in the final analysis he was white – that is, he had the cultural cachet to power his choices. Published in 1931, Black Elk Speaks has been in print ever since. It took almost 60 years, aided by an escalating word-of-mouth reputation, for the whole story of Black Elk Speaks to emerge, for the unedited transcripts to be published. It also took a significant shift in the dominant culture to allow the authentic voices of Black Elk and his Lakota chorus to be heard, with their distinctive cadences, repetitions and collective anarchy, and for the Lakota process of self to be revealed. Not simply a collection of personal statements, or a single narrative, or a poetic vision, Black Elk s books make us realise how, at least for the Lakota people, communal identity and personal identity were inseparable, that group history and personal transformation were one and the same. For us, with our specific focus on collaborative community research, these documents serve as a powerful testimony to the intimacy between Black Elk and his tribal compatriots, and to the social and ethical dynamics at work between Black Elk and the researcher/writer John Neihardt. Despite its hybrid nature, Black Elk Speaks is now universally acclaimed as a literary classic, a great cultural document and deeply resonant metaphor. However, we can still wonder at what cost and, had the full transcripts never been published, at what loss? We therefore offer up Black Elk s model of testimony as an aid to reflection and engagement with our own community research, both in development and in practice, and as an incitement to better creative collaborations. We suggest, of course, that you read the books as well - as information, as communication, as knowledge, as process, and as metaphor. Or, as Black Elk might have put it, I ve told you our story, now you tell us yours . 10 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 11. Day References ACCORDE. (1995). Advanced Communications for Cohesion and Regional Development: ACCORDE: T1015. Final Report, February 1995. Dublin: NEXUS. Cooley, M.. (1996). In GILL, K.S. (Ed.), Human Machine Symbiosis: The Foundations of Human-centred Systems Design. London: Springer-Verlag.69-100. Cooley, M.. (1987). Architect or Bee? The Human Price of Technology. London: Hogarth Press. Day, P. (2004). Community (Information and Community) Technology: Policy, Partnership and Practice. In Marshall, S., Taylor, W. & Xinghuo, Y. (Eds.) Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions. London: Idea Group Publishing. 18-36. Day, P. (2003a). Community Practice in the Network Society. In Gurstein, M., Menou, M. & Stafeev, S. (Eds.) Community Networking and Community Informatics: Prospect, Approaches, Instruments. St Petersburg: Centre of Community Networking and Information Policy Studies (CCNS). 50-65. Day, P. (2003b). CNA – Community Network Analysis & ICT: Bridging and building community ties. Paper presented at the 2003 CIRN Colloquium in Prato. Day, P. (2001) The Networked Community: Policies for a Participative Information Society. Unpublished PhD thesis: University of Brighton. Day, P. & Harris, K. (1997). Down-to-Earth Vision: Community Based IT Initiatives and Social Inclusion, [The Commit Report]. London: IBM/CDF. Day, P. & Schuler, D. (2004). Integrating practice, policy and research. In Day, P. & Schuler, D. (Eds.) Community Practice in the Network Society: Local action/Global interaction. London: Routledge. 215-229. DeMallie, R.J. (Ed.) (1984). The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Deshler, D. and Ewert, M. (1995). Participatory Action Research: Traditions and Major Assumptions. Ithaca, NY: The Cornell Participatory Action Research Network. [Paper posted on list, 9th May 1995]. Gill, K.S. (1997). Knowledge Networking and Social Cohesion in the Information Society. A 11 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 12. Day Study for the European Commission. Brighton: SEAKE Centre, University of Brighton. Gurstein, M. (2003). Community Informatics: What is Community Informatics? In Gurstein, M., Menou, M. & Stafeev, S. (Eds.) Community Networking and Community Informatics: Prospect, Approaches, Instruments. St Petersburg: Centre of Community Networking and Information Policy Studies (CCNS). 77-84. Gurstein, M. (2000). Community Informatics: Enabling communities with communications technologies. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing. Keeble, L. and Loader, B. D., (Eds.) (2001) Community Informatics: Shaping Computer- Mediated Social Relations. London: Routledge. Koch, K. (1980). Wishes, Lies and Dreams: teaching children to write poetry. New York: Harper & Row. Kretzmann, J.P. & McKnight, J.L. (1997). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. Chicago: ACTA Publications. Neihardt, J. (1971). Black Elk Speaks. Lincoln: University of Nebraska; free electronic version available at University of Nebraska Press E-Editions, Qvortrup, L. (1996). The Social Construction of Human-centredness. In GILL, K.S. (ed.), Human Machine Symbiosis: The Foundations of Human-centred Systems Design. London: Springer-Verlag. 177-202. Rosenbrock, H. (1990). Machines with a purpose. Oxford: Oxford University Press Schuler, D. & Day, P. (Eds.) 2004. Shaping the Network Society: The New Role of Civil Society in Cyberspace. London: The MIT Press Shearman, C. (1999). Local Connections: Making the Net Work for Neighbourhood Renewal. London: Communities Online. Taylor, F. W. (1998). The Principles of Scientific Management. London: Dover Publishing. Taylor, W. (2004). Community Informatics in Perspective. In Marshall, S., Taylor, W. & Xinghuo, Y. (Eds.) Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions. London: Idea Group Publishing. 1-17. [1] As community technology is viewed as an integral part of community infrastructure in the network society, the authors use initiative as opposed to project . The short-term nature of the project mentality is considered detrimental to the aim of social sustainability. 12 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM
  • 13. Day [2] The use of the word shared relates to negative as well as positive social experiences. Recognising community as a contested space where conflict often exists, the authors suggest that such conflict is as much part of the shared experience of community life as are more harmonious conditions. For example, a loud and violent argument between neighbours late at night is as much part of the shared experience of community life as is the same neighbours organising a Christmas Party for marginalised children during the festive season. [3] These include profiling and mapping the information and communication assets (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1997) and needs of both geographic communities and communities of practice, and synthesising this data with a social network analysis of local communication patterns and behaviour. [4]See for a preliminary consideration of the oath. 13 of 13 10/31/2009 3:21 PM