This paper reports on a project aimed at revitalizing small and old rural villages through establishing a network of bookshops, the BookTownNet. The project combined a research framework based on theories from information system research and regional economics in analyzing the development and diffusion of information and communication technology (ICT) to small, rural enterprises through that network. Our findings indicate that use of the Internet both locally and between the booktowns has strengthened the communication and collaboration between them, thus creating a better basis for the small bookshops to be competitive in the information society. Further, we have found that differences in local innovation systems to some extent have influenced the diffusion processes. Our data also show that the booktown network has been able to compensate for the lack of support in the regional innovation system, which makes the importance of the ICT-based virtual network spanning geographically distributed regions evident. This indicates that the booktown infrastructure and support system has been the most important factor in the bookshopsí ability to implement and use the new technical solutions.
Skogseid, Ingjerd and Jansen, Arild, "Booktowns on the Internet: Rural Enterprises Enter the Network Society" (2001). ICIS 2001 Proceedings. 44.