19 June 2006

Supporting Internet use by rural communities in Australia

A recent report by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation examines how rural communities in Australia are using the Internet as a way to foster community activities, interests and events.

The study found that the level of seed funding provided to establish sites was not as important as other less tangible features such as: the degree of community ownership, the ability for multiple users to contribute, local relevance, and levels of interactivity. While confined to Australia, issues identified in the study have international relevance. Faced with the rhetoric of globalisation, social communication needs continue to be essentially local. The most startling aspect of the study (from the researcher’s point of view) was the realisation that the best innovations came from outside of the technical area.




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