Blog Report 2: Information Community Choice

Your second blog post (information community choice) is due on February 8.   Please describe the information community you are choosing to explore for the course and the research paper.

Utilize Durrance and Fisher’s definition and characteristics of Information Communities to describe your choice to the class.  

 The information community I will be exploring for this research paper is an on-line gaming community called Twitch (www.twitch.tv).

After watching week two’s lecture on “Information Seeking Behavior” I became fascinated with the concept of on-line communities. In Information exchange in virtual communities: a typology, Burnett talks about these virtual groups and how they have become another type of community. These communities are filled with individuals of similar interests and are not bound by geographical location (Durrance and Fisher, 2003). Durrance and Fisher in Information Communities write, “online community networks take advantage of the capabilities of the Internet to link distributed local resources that, together, transform a disjointed physical community in to an information community” (2003). This leads me to Twitch, a virtual community of individuals who play different types of games and share a common interest in gaming. The basic concept of Twitch is the following:

  1. Individuals can create an account to watch others play live versions of their favorite games.
  2. Individuals can chat in a forum with each other while watching someone play a live version of their favorite game.

The way I think of Twitch is that it is similar to having a group of friends over and watching a football game be played. On Twitch, instead of having friends over though, you are in an on-line forum with your “friends” watching an on-line game being played.

Another reason I am fascinated in Twitch, is because of my sister. She has always been keen on video games. She originally started going on Twitch to learn new things about her favorite games or how to beat new games. She used the website as a resource for gaming. After some time she became more immersed in the on-line community. She started to take on roles and make friends. She eventually became a Moderator, which is someone in-charge of enforcing the rules in the various forums. Twitch is an on-line community that fits in to the five characteristics of information communities that Durrance and Fisher write about.

First, individuals who are a part of the on-line community Twitch communicate through the use of technology. They communicate by connecting to the Internet on their electronic devices to share gaming information.

Second, these individuals come from various backgrounds and work together. For example, my sister when she started accessing Twitch was living in Australia and many of her on-line friends lived in the United States. She even met her now boyfriend of two years through Twitch. They lived in different countries at the time, but connected over their appreciation for the same games. They both currently reside in California and still go on Twitch together!

Third, Twitch offers chat forums, live feeds with subtitles of video games being played, and other resources for its members. There was a need for a community of like-minded individuals who were in to different types of games. Twitch shares various amounts of information about on-line games and even board games.

Forth, Twitch is a free service for anyone who shares an interest in gaming. Users can choose to donate to other users, but it is not required or expected.

Fifth, Twitch offers users the chance to communicate with one another all over the world about new games and old games at any time and on any day. At one time before technology became a huge part of our lives, one may have gotten together with friends to play a video game or meet with a local club. Twitch removes time constraints, geographical needs and the limitations of having to meet in person

I have never been in to playing video games or on-line games. A few years ago when my sister became a part of the on-line community that Twitch created, I became very fascinated with the whole concept. I am extremely excited to dive deeper in to this on-line community and how it relates to what Fisher and Durrance write about. I also look forward to reading about different takes and viewpoints about on-line information communities.

You can also cover issues such as: What are you taking away from lectures and readings? What will inform your practice as an information professional?

I really enjoy the pre-recorded lectures and have even shared slides with my family when I find things are relatable to everyday life and work. I was extremely excited when the discussion of informational communities expanded to on-line communities. The topic of how on-line communities can have their own language got me thinking about my sister’s role as a Moderator for Twitch. It gave me inspiration and a starting point for looking in to the on-line community that Twitch has created.

 

References

Burnett, Gary (2000)  Information exchange in virtual communities: A   typology.  Information

         Research, 5(4). Retrieved August 30, 2004, from

http://informationr.net/ir/5-4/paper82.html

 

Fisher, K., & Durrance, J. (2003). Information communities. In K. Christensen, & D.

Levinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual                

          world. (pp. 658-661). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved

from

http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/loginurl=http://knowledge

.sagepub.com/view/community/n248.xml

 

Stephens, M. (2014). Information seeking behavior [Lecture slides]. Retrieved from

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/LIBR200InformationBehaviorSlides.pdf

 

Twitch. (n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2015, from

http://www.twitch.tv

 

 

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