A Conceptual Framework for Demographic Groups Resistant to On-line Community Interaction

Dorine Andrews, Jennifer Preece, and Murray Turoff
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 6, Number 3, Spring 2002, pp. 9.

Abstract: Demographic communities can become on-line communities if their members have common interests, needs, and goals, a desire for mutual communication, and can easily find one another to establish relationships. People are sometimes quite resistant to interacting on-line even when they regularly use the Internet for information gathering and e-mail. With mid-life career changers as a representative demographic group, this paper discusses the factors causing this resistance, ways to mitigate it and bring group members into on-line community environments, and mechanisms for sustaining their on-line interaction. Several methods for improving the sociability and usability of on-line communities are proposed, and it is recommended that the selection and implementation of technology be directed by the group’s sociability and usability requirements .

Key Words and Phrases: Audience analysis, behavioral change, computer-mediated communication, on-line community, on-line social network, on-line sociability, on-line usability, resistance to change.