This is the homepage of Daniel Pargman's Ph.D. thesis, "Code begets community: On social and technical aspects of managing a virtual community". This page contains some basic facts. More info or questions about the thesis should be directed directly at Daniel Pargman, email@example.com
The dissertation took place December 14, 2000 at Linköping University, Sweden. Steve Jones, Professor and Head of the Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago was the opponent (http://info.comm.uic.edu/jones/about.htm).
"Code begets community" contains 10 chapters:
Department of Communication Studies, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden.
Phone: +46 13 28 21 94
Fax: +46 13 28 22 99
Now the entire thesis is available online!
CODE BEGETS COMMUNITY:
ON SOCIAL AND TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF MANAGING A VIRTUAL COMMUNITY
What is reality beyond the hype of virtual communities on the Internet? This Ph.D.thesis is based on three and a half years of studies in a Swedish-speaking adventure mud - a text-based virtual reality system. The focus is not primarily on the players, but on the administrators and on the work to make this virtual community work.
A point of departure is that that SvenskMud can be seen as many things at the same time: a game, a computer program and a hobby. SvenskMud is an expression of a partisan, grass-roots initiative. It is not endorsed or supported by a powerful organization. All work is voluntary and unpaid and all usage is free. The values that SvenskMud endorse are the values of its creators and guardians - not of vendors who try to please an audience at any cost.
An important characteristic of virtual communities is that social concerns become difficult to separate from technical practices. Social and technical issues interact and co-evolve in such intimate ways that they often merge in a mud. Management of the social system is done through computer code. During specific and favorable conditions, such computer code can indeed beget community. It is these circumstances that this work attempts to elucidate.
Daniel Pargman is a researcher at a Swedish company in the mobile Internet business. He currently develops user-centered scenarios to explore and harness future uses of mobile and ubiquitous computing power. His background is in computer and systems sciences, human-computer interaction and the social sciences.