This project evaluates the use and social impacts of Blacksburg Electronic Village, one of the prominent American community networking projects of the 1990s. It employs community surveys, detailed interviews, session logging, a participatory evaluation forum, and a variety of psychological scales. It addresses a variety of key issues: Who participates in community networks? What are the networks used for? How are local business activities and opportunities changed, and how direct a cause is the network? In what ways does access to local government information, or to public decision-making change? What are the consequences for community life, and for community health and well-being? How is participation in community life greater or more diverse? Do people feel safer in a community networking context than in the general Internet context? Do they feel their personal data is safer? Can a community network enhance self-perceptions of collective self-efficacy in the community? Has the social capital of the Blacksburg community increased as a consequence of the BEV? And what are the causes and effects of unequal participation throughout the community? The vision of community networking is inspiring; it extends creative participation to citizens through computing. Systematic evaluation of these new opportunities is timely and appropriate.
|Effective start/end date||8/15/03 → 8/31/04|
- National Science Foundation: $112,622.00