Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Inernet and Online Communities

The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand Inc.

The stroke foundations site is based on reducing risks and improving outcomes. The site is interactive as there are various different campaigns and lots of information on strokes provided on the page. The site is extremely interactive and has a section with “the latest news” and encourages the individual to find ‘STROKE’ support near you, and get resources from their website.
They encourage the individual to contribute to the foundation rather than the site, with requests such as donations, bequests, volunteering and fundraising.

A link to the site can be found here
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s site’s purpose is “reducing the burden of neurological disease.” This site was rather interactive as far as navigating through various different pages as part of the site, there were information pages, an A-Z of disorders as well as a News page. People are able to find program directors through the website to discuss possible research topics.
A link to the site can be found here
Stroke Training for Health and Social Care Staff is a “Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs) project, commissioned by the Scottish Government to produce an e-learning resource which would enhance the educational opportunities for health and social care staff working with people affected by stroke.”
The site provides different modules which can be navigated through to ensure the learner is learning the module to whichever level is appropriate to them, for example, stroke core competencies, stroke advancing modules, stroke thrombolysis master class, and stroke for carers. The site allows the users to contribute to the FAQ’s – frequently asked questions.

A link to the site can be found here

People choose to contribute to particular communities due to feeling a sense of community, or a sense of worth. In other words, they are seeking some sense of belonging to a community, and an online community is a newer sort of community to belong to, where they may not need to have a particular appearance about them, as they might have to in the like of a face to face community. The information shared in an online community is reciprocal as both the designer of the site and the user can contribute to the information provided on the site.

“Occupational deprivation is a relatively new term which describes a state in which people are precluded from opportunities to engage in occupations of meaning due to factors outside their control. As we face the new millennium,

it seems likely that, due to widespread social and economic change as well as increasing civil unrest, occupational deprivation will be experienced by increasing numbers of people globally.” (Whiteford, G., 2000, p.200)

This relates to the sites that I have chosen as the clients using the site may feel some sort of deprivation from their local community due to them having a stroke or caring for someone which has had a stroke in which case they are gathering information form the website rather than visiting a local community which can help them

Occupational Justice refers to the idea that any human being is able to partake in occupational performance as much as any other human being. This relates to my sites that I have chosen as all of the individuals should have been effected by a stroke at some point by it being either a family member who has had one, they may have had one themselves or they may just be researching it, however, regardless of what extent it has affected them they are all equally as able in the online world to access the same information as each other.

In the online communities which I have been looking at, the potential ethical issues which will need to be accounted include factors such as reposting images from someone’s blog or page without consent, using people’s names without consent, not knowing exactly who the people that are blogging are as they may have a different name to what they say they are using. It can also be hard to tell whether or not the source is reliable.

Benefits of these online communities can include aspects such as complimenting real life communities, and they can provide connections instantly over a large geographical distance. Limitations can include delusional reliance on virtual communities, and a digital divide regarding who has access to what sites.

Whiteford, G. (2000). The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(5), 200204


  1. This is so interesting, I didn't realise there were so many things that could help you when looking at online comminites. Just a question, you mentioned about not knowing if a site is reliable or not. How would you know if it was realiable? Thanks Madison.

  2. you can check who it was written/ authorised by at the bottom of the page is one example =]

    1. Oh that's a good idea, thank you :)