The Journal of Community Informatics… good news!

I love having a weblog, Mike Gurstein editor-in-chief of The Journal of Community Informatics commented on my last post saying that it was a mistake that the email got sent out and that all the papers are now fully available. Frabjous :D

So not only am, I now back on their email notification list (c’mon guys, you’re almost there… get yourself some RSS feeds, you know you want to!) but also have access to a plethora of interesting papers examining community and sustainability including:

Community Portals – The UK Experience. A False Dawn Over the Field of Dreams? by Stephen James Musgrave:

“Research has been undertaken to investigate the extent to which locally deployed UK community portals are capable of supporting interactive citizen services with local government departments. The study finds that few existing portals enable on-line access to back office systems to enable self-service interactivity for citizens, but along with problems in joining-up technology there are also problems with joining-up people. Current activities are analogous with a “False Dawn” in community portal development, due to gaps and current inadequacies of portal capability”

[I think it’s pretty simple really: ‘portals’ ‘don’t’ ‘work’ – well not as they are currently seen to work. However, if a portal operates as essentially a facilitative tool for the development of communication centred around individuals as parts of communities (i.e. end to end not in the middle) then we’re not all lost yet]

Emotion, Gender and the Sustainability of Communities by Kerry Jeanne Tanner

“Utilising examples from the author’s case study research in a women’s community organisation in Melbourne, Australia, it contrasts the barren emotional landscape of many organisations with the vibrance and warmth of a feminist community organisation, and considers how ICTs may either facilitate or constrain this emotional expression.”

[Fascinating stuff reminds me of Don Norman’s observation in Emotional Design that SMS & IM are not ‘content’ or ‘information’ tools on the whole. They connect us emotionally, let us know that each other are there and that we can reach out and touch base with them. Far more powerful than any KM or ‘productivity’ geared ICTs in developing an effective and happy organization I reckon]