Evaluating E-Communities of Wireless Networks Worldwide

Evaluating E-Communities of Wireless Networks Worldwide

Theodoros I. Kavaliotis (University of Macedonia, Greece) and Anastasios A. Economides (University of Macedonia, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/jmcmc.2009010106
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Many people communicate among themselves using wireless networks. They have developed e-communities in order to discuss issues about their network development, problems, opportunities, and wireless technology advances among others. The purpose of this article is to present an evaluation framework and analyze the current status of such Electronic Communities of Wireless Networks (ECWNs) in four continents: Africa, America, Europe and Oceania. The evaluation framework contains fifty criteria categorized into four categories: 1) Usability, 2) Technical Characteristics, 3) Community’s Commitment, and 4) Members’ Commitment. Then, fifty-seven ECWNs were evaluated using these criteria. The results show that there are large differences among ECWNs with respect to the forum structure, archives accessibility, interactivity, services, members’ commitment, participation and relationships. In most ECWNs, two major drawbacks are the lack of online forums and a newsletter service. Finally, suggestions are made in order to improve current ECWNs.

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