Week 9: Designing Online Spaces to Support Cops

EDUC 893

Week 9: Designing Online Spaces to Support CoPs

Reading Questions

Wenger, White & Smith (2009). Digital Habitats. Chps 4 & 5.

Feenberg & Bakardjieva (2004) Consumers or Citizens? The Online Community Debate

1.  What is the difference between “designing” a CoP and “designing for” a CoP? How do issues of ownership and evolution affect what we mean by “design” in this context? How is “stewarding” different from “designing”? (try to think about the specific activities each entails)

2.  Feenberg & Bakardjieva cite Etzioni’s (2004) definitions of community as:

“[S]ocial entities that have two elements. One, a web of affect-laden relationships across a group of individuals that often criss-cross and reinforce each other..The other, a measure of commitment to a set of shared values, norms and meanings, and a shared history and identity…in short, a particular culture”

Do you think community defined in this way can exist entirely online? Why or why not? Be ready to defend your position (perhaps with examples) since there are always very different views on this question!

3.  Feenberg describes the following attributes of community and related necessary ethical commitments

Attributes of Community / Necessary Ethical Commitments
Identification w/ symbols & ritual practices / Loyalty, Respect
Acceptance of common rules / Self-control
Mutual aid / Fairness
Mutual respect / Civility
Authentic communication / Sincerity, Truthfulness, Tolerance

What might these look like in an online setting? What different factors do you think can influence whether these are present or not?