University of Winchester

ABSTRACTS /Jonathan Bishop

Social change in organic and virtual communities

Social change in organic and virtual communities is achieved through actors experiencing desires to carry out an action and acting them out. Ecological cognition has explained how actors act in their environment through identifying five desires that an actor experiences in an environment. This paper investigates the existence of such desires in organic and virtual communities, through carrying out a case study of a popular virtual community and analysing the Scriptures and extends the model of ecological cognition to include five opposite desires. The paper identifies four sources of desires that lead to social change, which are through interacting with other actors, perceiving affordances in artefacts, through cognitive processes and spiritually through divine command. It explores how actors deal with desires and how they validate them and finally provides guidelines for developers of virtual communities to take into account the existence of desires in developing these environments.

Biographical Statement

Jonathan Bishop is a freelance interaction designer, specialising in the design, development and evaluation of Internet-based online communities and e-learning systems. He gained his first degree in Multimedia Studies at the University of Glamorgan, on which he studied human-computer interaction, multimedia authoring and project management. His second degree was an MSc in E-Learning, also at Glamorgan, on which he designed and evaluated systems to facilitate social change, including the PARLE System, which sought to change the behaviour of and attitudes towards people with autism. This system has received a lot of media attention and been shortlisted for several prestigious awards for its innovativeness and capability to facilitate social change. When not doing interaction design Jonathan can be found practicing his debating and public speaking skills, taking part in book clubs, or writing in his weblog.

Current Affiliation: University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd



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