Caribbean Communication: Social Mediation Through the Caribbean ICT Virtual Community (CIVIC)

  • Roger Caruth


New technologies, represented by information and communication technologies (ICTs), are changing the communication pattern taking place over the Internet throughout the Caribbean region. These ICTs have increased the way individuals connect and create new ways of direct virtual participation and communication. Virtual communities enabled by computer-mediated communication are an example of the type of technologies that enable interpersonal online communication. This chapter examines the Caribbean ICT Virtual Community known as “CIVIC” utilizing netnography as the method to study the cultural behavior of members of the collaborative virtual environment fostered by this online community.


  1. Arnould, E. J., & Wallendorf, M. (1994, November). Market Oriented Ethnography: Interpretation Building and Marketing Strategy Formulation. Journal of Marketing Research, 31, 484–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balasubramanian, S., & Mahajan, V. (2001). The Economic Leverage of the Virtual Community. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 5(3), 103–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker, B., & Mark, G. (1999). Constructing Social Systems Through Computer-Mediated Communication. Virtual Reality, 4, 60–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boellstorff, T., Nardi, B., Pearce, C., & Taylor, T. L. (2012). Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, L. M., Brewster, S. A., Ramloll, S. A., Burton, R., & Riedel, B. (2003, July 6–9). Design Guidelines for Audio Presentation of Graphs and Tables. In, E. Brazil & B. Shinn-Cunningham (Eds), 9th International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) (pp. 284–287). Boston, MA: University of Glasgow.Google Scholar
  6. Bughin, J., Manyika, J., & Miller, A. (2009). How Companies are Benefiting from Web 2.0. McKinsey Quarterly, 9, 2009.Google Scholar
  7. Burke, M., Kraut, R., & Williams, D. (2010, February). Social Use of Computer-Mediated Communication by Adults on the Autism Spectrum. In Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 425–434), ACM.Google Scholar
  8. CaliCaliandro, A. (2014). Ethnography in Digital Spaces: Ethnography of Virtual Worlds, Netnography, & Digital Ethnography. Handbook of Anthropology in Business.Google Scholar
  9. (2008). Caribbean ICT Stakeholders Virtual Community—CIVIC Membership Statistics and Members database. Retrieved from
  10. Churchill, E. F., & Snowdon, D. (1998). Collaborative Virtual Environments: An Introductory Review of Issues and Systems. Virtual Reality, 3, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. CIVIC. (2007). Retrieved from
  12. CIVIC. (2017). Retrieved from
  13. Connoly, B. (2016). Constructing Theory from Social Media Research. Retrieved from Linkedin Website:
  14. De Souza, C. S., & Preece, J. (2004). A Framework for Analyzing and Understanding Online Communities. Interacting with Computers, The Interdisciplinary Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (accepted, in press), 1–26.Google Scholar
  15. Dhiraj, H. (2011). What is Netnography? The Effects it Places on the Web and Social Media Industry? Retrieved from
  16. Dunn, H., Williams, R., Thomas, M., & Brown, A. (2011). Caribbean ICT Indicators and Broadband Survey – Jamaica. Retrieved from University of West Indies, Mona, Program on Telecommunications Policy and Management. Retrieved from UWI Website:
  17. Fischer, G., Grudin, J., Lemke, A., McCall, R., Ostwald, J., Reeves, B., & Shipman, F. (1992). Supporting Indirect Collaborative Design with Integrated Knowledge-Based Design Environments. Human-Computer Interaction, 7, 281–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  19. Greenhalgh, C. (1997, September). Analyzing Movement and World Transition in Virtual Reality Teleconferencing. In Proceedings of 5th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW’97). Lancaster: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Gupta, S., & Kim, H. W. (2004, August). Virtual Community: Concepts, Implications, and Future Research Directions. In C. Bullen & E. Stohr (Eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth Americas Conference on Information Systems (New York). Atlanta, GA: AIS.Google Scholar
  21. Guzmán, J. M., et al. (2005/2006). La démographie de l’Amérique latine et de la Caraïbe depuis 1950. Population, 61, 519–620. Scholar
  22. Hagel, J., & Armstrong, A. (1997). Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kozinets, R. V. (1997). I Want to Believe: A Netnography of the X-Philes’ Subculture of Consumption. In M. Brocks & D. J. McInnis (Eds.), Advances in Consumer Research (Vol. 24, pp. 470–475). Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research.Google Scholar
  24. Kozinets, R. V. (2002, February). The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities. Journal of Marketing Research, 39, 61–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kozinets, R. V. (2010). Netnography Doing Ethnographic Research Online. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  26. Laine, M. O. J. (2006). Key Success Factors of Virtual Communities. Helsinki University of Technology.Google Scholar
  27. Lazar, J. R., Tsao, R., & Preece, J. (1999). One Foot in Cyberspace & the Other on the Ground A Case Study of Analysis and Design Issues in a Hybrid Virtual and Physical Community. WebNet Journal: Internet Technologies, Applications & Issues, 1(3), 49–57. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 23, 2018, from
  28. Lee, Y., Kozar, K. A., & Larsen, K. R. T. (2003). The Technology Acceptance Model: Past, Present, and Future. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 12, Article 50. Retrieved from
  29. Leimeister, J. M., & Krcmar, H. (2004). Revisiting the Virtual Community Business Model. In Proceedings of the Tenth Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), New York.Google Scholar
  30. Li, C. (2007). Mapping Participation in Activities Forms the Foundation of a Social Strategy. Social Technographics Trends Report, Forrester Research Inc. Retrieved from
  31. Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  32. Mann, P. A. (1978). Community Psychology: Concepts and Applications. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  33. Patton, M. Q. (1980). Qualitative Evaluation Methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Pimienta, D. (1993). La communicacion medinate computadora: una esperanza para los cientificos y academicos de America. In Una nueva manera de comunicar el conocimiento (pp. 73–100). Caracas: UNESCO/CRESALC.Google Scholar
  35. Porter, C. E. (2004). A Typology of Virtual Communities: A Multi-Disciplinary Foundation for Future Research. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 10(1). Retrieved June 28, 2005, from Scholar
  36. Preece, J. (2000). Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  37. Premdas, R. (1996). Ethnicity and Identity in the Caribbean. Notre Dame, IN: Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies.Google Scholar
  38. Rheingold, H. (1993). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  39. Rheingold, H. (1995). The Virtual Community: Finding Connection in a Computerized World. London: Minerva.Google Scholar
  40. Ridings, C. M., Gefen, D., & Arinze, B. (2002). Some Antecedents and Effects of Trust in Virtual Communities. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 11(3–4), 271–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Salmons, J. (2010). Online Interviews in Real Time. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  42. Schuler, D. (1996). New Community Networks: Wired for Change. New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  43. Silvio, J. (1999). Las Comunidades Virtuales como conductoras del aprendizaje permanente. Retrieved from
  44. Spiggle, S. (1994, December). Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data in Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 491–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stanoevska-Slabva, K. (2002). Toward a Community-Oriented Design of Internet Platforms. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 6(3), 71–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedure and Techniques. Newbury Park, London: Sage.Google Scholar
  47. Tennison, J. (1999). Living Ontologies: Collaborative Knowledge Structuring on the Internet. Nottingham: University of Nottingham.Google Scholar
  48. Torgusson, C. (2016). Connecting Islands with Technology. January 13, 2016, World Development Report: Digital Dividends, Retrieved from World Bank Website:
  49. United Nations. (2004). Global E-Government Readiness Report. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  50. UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL – ECOSOC. Challenges for Education with Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Reunião Preparatória Regional de 2011, Revisão Ministerial Anual do Conselho Econômico e Social das Nações Unidas ECOSOC – AMR, Buenos Aires, May 12, 2011.Google Scholar
  51. Wellman, B., & Gulia, M. (1999). Virtual Communities as Communties. In A. Smith & P. Kollock (Eds.), Communities in Cyberspace (pp. 167–194). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Wicker, A. W. (1987). Behavior Settings Reconsidered: Temporal Stages, Resources, Internal Dynamics, Context. In D. Stokols & I. Altman (Eds.), Handbook of Environmental Psychology (pp. 613–653). New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  53. Whittaker, S., Terveen, L., Hill, W., & Cherny, L. (1998). The Dynamics of Mass Interaction. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 257–264.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Caruth
    • 1
  1. 1.Annenberg School of CommunicationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations