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Content Analysis of Indiana's Community Network Websites: Then and Now

Kathryn Clodfelter and Wayne Buente

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


This poster describes the results of a follow-up content analysis conducted in 2005 of Indiana's community network websites. The original content analysis of nearly 30 geographically-based community networks was conducted in 1997-98. The research depicted represents the initial phase of a broader planned study of Indiana's community networking movement. Tentative results of the website content analysis show that Indiana's community networks have, as a whole, not strayed far from the techno-economic direction emphasized by Access Indiana, Indiana's government-led community networking initiative which was launched in the mid-1990s. Rather than serving as vehicles for empowering disadvantaged populations or encouraging civic engagement, the Indiana community network websites focus on promoting economic development and tourism. Rather than developing active partnerships with other community organizations to help promote social goals and build social capital, the community networks appear to limit their community involvement to promoting technological access by serving as Internet Service Providers and touting the benefits of broadband service. Rather than providing deep, uniquely local, and dynamically-changing content, the community network websites appear to provide shallow, globally-available, static content.

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