The Virtual Jaamati project is an exploratory study that seeks to ascertain the effect that technological enhancements may have upon Information Grounds. In order to do this, we first find an Information Ground, such as a cafe, that is the center of a thriving community; we then give that place the ability to provide services such as dedicated online forums, polls and galleries to its members by means of a web site that will be hosted by a server that is within the Information Grounds itself.
This project is occuring over three discrete stages. In the first stage, we are concurrently gathering the technical and informational requirements from the stakeholders of the Information Ground while conducting pre-implentation interviews. In stage two, we shall implement the system on-site and gather use data, including how often the site is used and the components of the site that are used most often. Stage three will consist of post-implementation interviews and analyzing all gathered data.
It is our hope that we will be able to see whether or not adding a technological dimension to the Information Ground enhances the community that it is the center of. If so, than this information can then be used by other Information Grounds in order to determine what services, if any, to offer that would have the benefit of better serving the needs and desires of the community.
This research was generously supported by a gift from the Community Technology Group at Microsoft.