Thursday, February 19, 2015

Another new book in our series, this one by Trevor Owens: "Designing Online Communities"

Trevor Owen's new book, Designing Online Communities: How Designers, Developers, Community Managers, and Software Structure Discourse and Knowledge Production on the Web, is now out and a must-read for anyone even remotely interested in working with or researching online communities.

From the back cover:
Discussion on the Web is mediated through layers of software and protocols. As scholars increasingly study communication and learning on the Internet, it is essential to consider how site administrators, programmers, and designers create interfaces and enable functionality. The managers, administrators, and designers of online communities can turn to more than 20 years of technical books for guidance on how to design online communities towards particular objectives. Through analysis of this "how to" literature, Designing Online Communities explores the discourse of design and configuration that partially structures online communities and later social networks. Tracking the history of notions of community in these books suggests the emergence of a logic of permission and control. Online community defies many conventional notions of community. Participants are increasingly treated as "users", or even as commodities themselves to be used. Through consideration of the particular tactics of these administrators, this book suggests how researchers should approach the study and analysis of the records of online communication. 
Advance praise for Designing Online Communities can be found here.



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