Using theories of social capital and social networks, this research explores the role of online social network structure for facilitating collaborative civic engagement in the context of an Australian government-sponsored online discussion forum for community building. It argues that where social capital is at the currency of today's society and Web 2.0 era, social networks hold the reserves of that currency. Comparing results from the sociocentric network analysis of communication ties between the early years and current year demonstrate that there is no significant difference in the intensity of communication amongst participants (density) and the tendency for network communications to focus on particular individuals or groups (centralisation). This implies that the provision of technological infrastructure alone is not sufficient. Rather, for long-term sustainability, government agencies need to understand the impact of virtually based community versus physically based communities towards civic engagement.
Chung, Kon Shing Kenneth, "Community Building through Online Social Networks: Evolution and Engagement" (2011). ACIS 2011 Proceedings. 58.