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from text to hypertext week 4

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(Kevin Robins in Dovey, 1996 p. 26) The Global Village. The death of distance' is a crisis... (Robins & Webster 1999) philosophy. Philosophising the Virtual... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: from text to hypertext week 4


1
from text to hypertext week 4
  • virtual communities and group-life

2
announcements
  • Register please complete during session. Enter
    for week 4 only.
  • If you are not on register enter name on attached
    week 4 sheet
  • Reading and handouts links to
    online articles for seminar sessions
    http//homepages.uel.ac.uk/T.D.Sampson/DocLand/IC1
    15/IC115.htm
  • For example Key reading for assignment one
    Marshall McLuhan's 'Global Village' Benjamin
    Symes (1995) http//www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/
    bas9401.html

3
aims of lecture
  • Group Work and Communication
  • to think about group projects
  • consider group work
  • The Virtual Community Debate
  • to develop understanding of virtual communities

4
Part One group communication
  • working on your projects

5
contents
  • What is a group?
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Leadership

6
Mass Communications Theory an introduction,
Dennis McQuail compares masses to other
groupings of people, including groups
7
Problem solving and decision making in groups
  • Consider your projects as problems you need to
    solve within the group
  • Consider the effectiveness of group

8
Handys Stages of development
A set of heuristics for group work Rules of thumb
  • Forming
  • Storming
  • Norming
  • Performing

See Hartley, P (1997) Group Communication,
London Routledge, pp131-155
9
FormingStormingNormingPerforming
  • Forming
  • group not yet a group
  • characterised by talk about the purpose, scope etc
  • Storming
  • false consensus
  • followed by conflict
  • consensus is challenged
  • consensus re-established
  • leads to new, better objectives group dynamic

10
FormingStormingNormingPerforming
  • Norming
  • establishment of norms and practices
  • Performing
  • group reaches maturity to carry out the task
    after the previous three stages have been
    completed

11
Consensus Hall, J. and Watson, W.H. (1970). The
effects of a normative intervention on
group decision-making performance.
  • Differences in a opinion are helpful
  • View initial agreement as suspect
  • Review
  • Explore
  • Avoid arguing your position
  • Avoid win lose statements
  • Avoid changing position to avoid conflict
  • Avoid conflict-reducing
  • Majority votes
  • Averaging
  • Bargaining

12
Beware heuristics!!!
13
Bet now on 4th coin Heads? Tails?
Beware heuristics (general rule of thumb) 50/50
bet
14
The Leadership Game
  • Based on Study from 1930s
  • 'Leadership and Group Life Lewin,
    Lippitt and White
  • Groups of schoolchildren producing masks
  • Three types of leader assigned
  • Tested on
  • Group morale
  • Quality of masks
  • Production output

15
  • Authoritarian
  • leader remained aloof
  • orders without consultation
  • directing the group activities
  • Democratic
  • leader participated in the group
  • offered guidance
  • encouraged the children
  • Laissez-faire
  • gave the children knowledge
  • did not become involved
  • participated little in the group's activities

16
  • Authoritarian
  • morale
  • High
  • Low
  • quality of masks
  • High
  • Low
  • production output
  • High
  • Low
  • Laissez-faire
  • morale
  • High
  • Low
  • quality of masks
  • High
  • Low
  • production output
  • High
  • low
  • Democratic
  • morale
  • High
  • Low
  • quality of masks
  • High
  • Low
  • production output
  • High
  • low

VOTE NOW
17
Results
  • Democratic
  • morale was high
  • quality of their masks high
  • produced rather less than hoped
  • Authoritarian
  • Morale low
  • quality of their masks low
  • productivity was high
  • Laissez-faire
  • group morale was the lowest
  • production low
  • poor quality

18
Results
  • Democratic
  • Got on well
  • Produced less than hoped
  • Authoritarian
  • blame other members of the group whenever
    anything went wrong
  • aggressive
  • apathetic
  • rebellious
  • demanded attention from the leader
  • Laissez-faire
  • co-operated little and placed great demands on
    the leader
  • showing little ability to work independently

19
Part two virtual community debate
  • Can communities exist online?

20
contents
  • Real versus Virtual
  • So what is a community?
  • The debate so far…
  • Philosophising the
    Virtual

download and read Chapter Two Daily Life in
Cyberspace http//www.well.com/user/hlr/vcbook/

21
Real versus Virtual meatspace versus virtualspace
22
Real versus Virtual meatspace versus virtualspace
  • Reality
  • fixed
  • permanent
  • immovable
  • not artificial
  • not fraudulent
  • not illusory
  • Virtuality
  • hypothetical
  • artificial
  • experienced through sensory stimuli

http//www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary
23
  • VR Applications
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Business
  • Architecture
  • Science
  • Medicine (pain management)
  • Robotics
  • Military
  • Flight Simulators
  • Art
  • Entertainment
  • Sports And Fitness

24
So what is a community?
25
So what is a community?
  • Unified body of individuals
  • The local community
  • The community as a whole
  • the international community
  • the academic community
  • Virtual community
  • An interacting population of various kinds of
    individuals (as species) in a common location

http//www.m-w.com/dictionary.htm
26
Can communities exist online?
  • Whether or not people can share community
    online is hotly contested

27
Esther Dyson on Virtual Communities (1997)
  • Basic principles
  • Desires should mesh
  • Determine who is in and who is out
  • Investment should make it difficult to leave or
    face punishment
  • Rules should be clear

28
Are newsgroups virtual communities? Teresa L.
Roberts, 1998   Six dimensions of a community
  • Cohesion the sense of group identity
  • Effectiveness group impact on the members lives
    in outside world
  • Help kinds of assistance
  • Relationships interacting and forming
    friendships
  • Language use of specialized language
  • Self-regulation ability of the group to police
    itself

29
The debate so far…
30
Optimists Virtual Communities
  • Howard Rheingold, 1993 The Virtual Community
  • People in virtual communities do just about
    everything people do in real life, but we leave
    our bodies behind.
  • argue
  • conduct commerce
  • exchange knowledge
  • brainstorm
  • Gossip
  • flirt
  • fall in love
  • play games
  • create a little high art and a lot of idle talk

31
Optimists Virtual Communities
  • virtual communities are computer-assisted
    groupminds (Rheingold, 1993)
  • the sharing of knowledge capital (Watson in
    Jones, S G. (ed), 1997 pp. 102-132)

32
Optimists Virtual groupminds
  • Rheingold refers to computer mediated spaces
  • online brain trusts
  • computer-assisted groupminds
  • Community as an extension of the nervous system

33
Pessimists Virtual Communities
  • Clifford Stoll, 1995. Silicon Snake Oil
  • Whats missing from this ersatz (imitation,
    substitute) neighbourhood?
  • feeling of permanence
  • a sense belonging
  • a sense of location
  • Gone is the very essence of a neighbourhood
  • friendly relations
  • a sense of being

34
The Problems with a sense of being
  • Shared proximity or social presence
  • The social presence or the sense of otherness
    Anthony Giddens, 1995
  • No evidence of meaningful sense of reciprocal
    responsibility or mutual obligation Neil Postman,
    1993

35
Problems with groupminds and groupthink
  • Rheingolds WELL Community wanted to encourage
  • free speech
  • via many-to-many communication
  • But Groupthink puts pressure on users to conform…

36
Problems with groupminds and groupthink
37
(No Transcript)
38
The Virtual as Escapism?
  • Optimists…
  • Virtual communities escape or release us from
    a world that…
  • seems to get more complex and more overwhelming
    and ever more scary
  • (Dyson, 1997 pp. 31-33).
  • Pessimists…
  • Need to…
  • relocate virtual culture in the real world
  • (Kevin Robins in Dovey, 1996 p. 26)
  • The Global Village
  • The death of distance is a crisis…
  • (Robins Webster 1999)

39
philosophy
40
Philosophising the Virtual...
Not a metaphor of reality or a place beyond
reality consider the virtual as not opposed to
the real real/virtual not being
unreal But… virtualisation as a process of
becoming actual
41
Virtual as Process
  • The virtual is not a new concept
  • Old philosophical argument - concerning
  • space
  • time
  • Bergson (1900s)
  • Deleuze (1960s)
  • Levy (1990s)
  • The virtual and the actual as process
  • Levy (1998) on software production
  • Virtual Problem
  • Actual Solution
  • New Problem

virtual
actual
virtual
42
The Community Metaphor
  • Watson (1997) asks
  • Is the virtual a representation of the real?
  • Social researchers use a community metaphor to
    describe something about online interaction which
    is similar to what we know as a community in the
    offline world
  • Nessim Watson, "Why We Argue About Virtual
    Community A Case Study of the Phish.Net Fan
    Community, in Steven G. Jones, ed., Virtual
    Culture. Identity and communication in
    Cybersociety 1997, pp. 102-132

43
The problem with community metaphors
  • The community metaphor is centred on
  • being together in a physical, geographic space
  • However, these arguments do not consider
  • the connection created over time

44
A process through which a shared culture is
created, modified, and transformed… directed
not towards the extension of messages in space
but the maintenance of society over time
James Carey (1989)
  • Communication creates, re-creates, and maintains
    community online. Watson, 1997

45
Relationships develop across time in cyberspace
  • Virtual communities are social aggregations that
    emerge from the Net when enough people carry on
    those public discussions long enough, with
    sufficient human feeling, to form webs of
    personal relationships in cyberspace.
    The Virtual Community, Howard Rheingold, 1993.
    Introduction
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