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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.