> People Who Connected

Heather James

Heather James

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Heather James has explored the dynamic behind successful online communities. Her research in Trinity college Dubln focused on artists' groups.

Is it possible to build an online community comprised of town residents who share information and make connections that aren't being fostered by more traditional methods? To test some of her ideas, James used a real site that artists could really use. She chose a Wiki format. James has a weblog of her own with details about her project. During her research, she discovered things that are relevant to any group trying to sort out how to connect citizens online. Open-source software like Geeklog makes the task of launching a site like this cheap and easy, even with only modest technology skills. As we note more and more people setting up low-cost community networks, one question that should be addressed is "What kind of publishing model works best to turn site visitors into content creators?"

Fuji S602Z picture and comments by Bernard Goldbach.