Thursday, 28 April 2011

Tutorial Six: The internet and online communities

Provide the web addresses and a hyper link for the three online communities you have chosen

For this tutorial I will be focussing on the topics of acquired or traumatic brain injury and I will be making links to three online communities that relate to this topic.

Provide a brief description of each community

Traumatic brain injury forum is an online community which enables people with or who know someone with traumatic brain injury to post their feelings, struggles, milestones and thoughts, they can post questions and answers for others to reply to or comment on.

I feel that the purpose of this site is to give a place/forum where people can discuss TBI and help one another in their journey. is a website designed to help those people caring for family members with illnesses or disabilities such as TBI and ABI. This website has discussion groups, offers telephone support, updated information/research around these illnesses, gives a place for caregivers to talk to one another and learn so they are up to date with the care they can provide and so they have all the support they might need, links to other sites of help are also available.

I think the purpose of this is to provide a service for those looking after individuals living with TBI and ABI

This is a facebook page set up to offer support for those that have acquired or are living with or know someone close to them who have suffered the devastating effects of Brain Injury.

This site allows its members to share links, video clips, photos, personal experiences with the other members of the group. Friendships can be made and support is given through the sharing of questions and answers.

I think the intended purpose is for members to be able to talk to and share information with one another around ABI

What services are provided on each site? 

- Offers a forum for people to talk about TBI
- This site is not too interactive but easy to follow
- People can contribute by adding comments and answering others questions where needed

- Offers forums, other related services/links, research, new ideas, support groups
- Very interactive site which allows you to post comments in forums
- You can also add comments in the forum or if you are a researcher your work can be displayed on the page if relevant

- Real life people talking through a social network, links to websites, YouTube videos, friendships, personal support, forum to ask questions
- Very interactive site which allows you to read others comments, write back, share clips, information, websites ect
- Becoming involved in conversations, sharing links, videos and personal experiences if you have any

Consider material presented in the online package.  

People choose to contribute on the traumatic brain injury forum to ask for help or help others going through similar processes. They are seeking a place to discuss traumatic brain injury.

People choose to contribute to the caregiver’s site to help offer support to other caregivers and share tools, ideas and links that might help one another on their journeys; it is a way to communicate with people going through similar struggles/triumphs. They are seeking a place where they can find information relevant for caregivers and also support.

People choose to contribute to the facebook site as a way of showing that they are going through similar times and to offer help and support to others, it is a way to show that there is support out there. They also like to share their stories and links to sites/information that may be helpful to others viewing the site. They are seeking real people who have personal experiences with brain injury.

In all these sites the information is reciprocated.

Cut and paste an example of the type of topics being discussed

This is an example of the facebook webpage which is written by a mother of a child who has ABI, here she is expressing her feelings with all the other members, on this page a few people commented on this posting and offered their thoughts and support. This is just one example of many.

“my daughter was ran over back in march and now has ABI, I find it so difficult that people on the outside don’t understand because physically she has recovered quickly but mentally it is draining I’m so proud of how far she has come but it is so hard and don’t feel I am getting the support i need from a professional point of view”

Considering material presented during the course and comment on the potential ethical issues that may arise in this community

Several ethical issues can arise on these pages as they are free for anyone to leave comments, the validity of some of the comments may not be acceptable as they don’t have to prove what they are saying is correct. There is no-one to hold accountable for these comments as profiles can be made up. Confidentiality can be breached through the facebook page as it gives access to these individual profiles after they have commented unless the profiles have been made private. The parents themselves can be breaching confidentiality as they talk about their loved ones to the world.
Consider material presented in the online package and comment on the benefits these communities provides over traditional geographical community.

The benefits would be in the vast areas these sites can be accessed, and the people they can access, for example rare diseases may be hard to talk about with everyday people and finding people that are going through the same issues can be hard so these sites allow people to talk throughout the world.

Consider material presented during the lecture and make comment what this community lacks or can not provide which traditional communities can.

The face to face talks that traditional communities have and the bonds you make with people face to face can seem more real. You can see how people are coping with your eyes instead of imagining what they are going through. You can offer better support when you are there in person.

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