Sustaining Online Communities Involving Seniors

  • Oliver Kisalay Burmeister School of Computing and Mathematics, Centre for Research in Complex Systems, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
  • Ros Foskey Mental Health Promotion and Prevention Service, Hunter New England Local Health Network, New South Wales.
  • June Hazzlewood OAM, Honorary Associate, Tasmanian University Department of Rural Health, Launceston, Tasmania.
  • Ray Lewis OAM, Chief Executive Officer and founder of GreyPath Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria.
Keywords: Ageing, design, human computer interaction, reflexivity

Abstract

Many online communities involving seniors have come into existence, yet not all of these have survived. There are numerous reasons for success and failure in the creation, management and maintenance of these online communities. Through an exploration of two communities, NEAT and GreyPath, numerous factors are uncovered for the successful sustenance of such online communities. Both communities have reached maturity successfully, one continues to enjoy success, the other is on the precipice of continuing to survive or to cease to exist. Two critical success factors discovered were valuing members in peer based interaction through a flat structure, and hybridity.

Author Biographies

Oliver Kisalay Burmeister, School of Computing and Mathematics, Centre for Research in Complex Systems, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

Oliver Burmeister is a lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics, at Charles Sturt University. His work is focused in the field of Social Informatics (SI). His main pursuits are in Internet-based social interaction involving seniors with sporadic (age-related) Alzheimer's disease.

June Hazzlewood, OAM, Honorary Associate, Tasmanian University Department of Rural Health, Launceston, Tasmania.

June Hazzlewood is an Honorary Associate at the University of Tasmania Rural Health Department. Her interests are centred around education, ageing and technology in retirement; promoting health and well being by facilitating the uptake of ICT, and social isolation, which occurs as older people become home carers for frail aged partners, particularly in rural areas; the risk of loneliness and depression as people’s work life and social networks shrink, and the feasibility of alleviation by establishing new online networks. She is a member of the Department of Health & Human Services Older Persons Reference Group. June has expertise in issues related to older adults. She also provides input into the Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development Social Disengagement and Ageing Project.

 

 

Ray Lewis, OAM, Chief Executive Officer and founder of GreyPath Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria.

Raymond V Lewis OAM is the builder and CEO of Greypath, a leading national web site for seniors. He is also a marine author and educational video maker, and is a leading and pro-active volunteer in his community.

Published
2012-01-19
How to Cite
Burmeister, O., Foskey, R., Hazzlewood, J., & Lewis, R. (2012). Sustaining Online Communities Involving Seniors. The Journal of Community Informatics, 8(1). Retrieved from http://www.ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/554