Keeping in Touch - Final Report
Thursday, March 15, 2012
This report outlines findings from the scoping review for the Keeping in Touch project, a collaborative research project involving academics from the Digital Cultures Research Centre at the University of the West of England, community partner Knowle West Media Centre and independent consultant Dr Clodagh Miskelly. Keeping in Touch consisted of a scoping review of UK based projects, visits to three projects to generate interview-based case studies and a small interview-based study with people who are active in Knowle West in Bristol. The project asked two questions:
- What can we learn about people's everyday use of mobile media and communication technologies that would support the aim of strengthening communities?
- How do people already use mobile media and everyday communication technology in their daily lives to 'keep in touch' with significant community networks?
We focused on projects which seemed to be going with the grain of what people are already doing in their everyday lives, rather than introducing completely new technologies or activities. We do not attempt to define what is meant by the term 'strengthening communities' but instead accept the different understandings of this that we encountered in the research and attempt to map and understand people's uses of communication technologies to achieve their goals. There are many ways of defining community; we have kept our focus here on locality, looking at projects that operate at local scale in some way, whether as a local project or working across different localities. We intended through this project not only to contribute to academic research and understanding but through the process to synthesise and share good practice in community technology projects that might be useful to others working in this field. To this end we are producing a handbook for community practice.
This scoping review is a beginning that has generated more questions than answers, as well as pointers to good practice.
This report is the product of research funded by the AHRC Connected Communities programme and it is published by the DCRC under a Creative Commons license.