Toward Virtual Communities in Rural Australia

W. David Wilde and Paul A. Swatman
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 2, Number 1, Fall 1997, pp. 43.

Abstract: The farming community, in many parts of Australia, is widely dispersed and heavily dependent upon communication both within and outside the community. In this preliminary paper we explore the information needs and information flows of the rural sector and consider the farm as the potential focus of a virtual community. A virtual community may form a basis both for electronic commerce, in the traditional sense, and for rich telecommunications-mediated social activity. We describe factors apparently inhibiting the implementation of rural virtual communities in Australia and, finally, we introduce a research project that will evaluate a model of inhibiting factors for the development of virtual communities within a real-world rural setting.

Key Words and Phrases
: community-based electronic commerce, farm sector, virtual communities.