[Air-l] case studies of mailinglists

Michael Gurstein mgurst at vcn.bc.ca
Fri May 24 09:02:29 PDT 2002

Hi Geert,

You might be interested in an account of some Community Informatics work we
did in Cape Breton.  As you may know, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in
Canada has suffered severely in recent years with the loss of its fishery,
coal mine and steel mill. The result has been the highest unemployment rate
in Canada (20% official/40-50% unofficial).

However, the region has for a variety of historical reasons retained
elements of a remarkably intact Highland Gaelic culture including a form of
Celtic music which musicologists (and musicians) from around the world look
to as among the purest currently being performed.

As other sources of employment and income have disappeared, culture and
tourism and particularly the music "industry" in Cape Breton have come to be
seen as a highly valuable and "sustainable" resource.

In 1996 we formed an email list called CBMusic which proved to be a
significant element in the formation of a global community of those with an
interest in the music, and an important link to the local Cape Breton music
"business"/community and not incidentally making some quite useful
contributions to the local economy.

There is an account of this in "Fiddlers on the Wire: Music, Electronic
Commerce and Local Economic Development on a Virtual Cape Breton Island", in
Doing Business on the Internet: Opportunities and Pitfalls, Celia T. Romm
and Fay Sudweeks (Eds.), Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1999.   I could also send
it as a word file to those with an interest.

A longer account of the overall work and project will be forthcoming in a
book tentatively entitled "Not By Default: Community Innovation and
Information Technology on Cape Breton Island", University College of Cape
Breton Press, and in the book Burying Coal: Research and Development for
Remote and Rural Development, available from Progressive Publishers,
Vancouver BC or by email from myself.

All the best,

Mike Gurstein,

Michael Gurstein, Ph.D.
(Visiting) Professor: School of Management
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Newark, NJ

Formerly Director: Centre for Community and Enterprise Networking
University College of Cape Breton,
Sydney, NS, CANADA

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-admin at aoir.org [mailto:air-l-admin at aoir.org]On Behalf Of
geert lovink
Sent: May 22, 2002 10:23 PM
To: air-l at aoir.org
Subject: [Air-l] case studies of mailinglists

Dear Air-l,

for my PhD at the University of Melbourne I have recently written a few case
studies of mailinglist communities. Now I am winding up this project and for
the introduction and conclusion I would like to refer to a few similar case
studies, but I can't find all that many of them. Does anyone have a
suggestion? It could be studies about virtual communities but that's perhaps
a bit too broad. I am in particularly interested in internal dynamics and
issues of sustainability. Any reference is most welcome.

BTW. I do like the (new) afterword Howard Rheingold wrote for his Virtual
Community book which MIT Press reprinted recently. I am not sure how
welknown this text is. It's a good and honest reassessment of his passions.


Geert Lovink (Sydney)

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