The Shift from Centralized to Peer-to-Peer Communication in an Online Community: Participants as a Useful Aspect of Genre Analysis
40 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008
Date Written: January 1, 2008
In this paper we analyzed an online community based on a mailing list that was created as an internal marketing tool for launching a new network service. We focused on the change in communication over time among dispersed Sales representatives and the employees in a centralized Service Department. We conducted a genre analysis based on content (what), purpose (why), timing (when), form (how) and participants (who communicates to whom) (Yates and Orlikowski, 2002). Analyzing the participants in a genre and how those participants changed over time highlighted a shift from centralized to dispersed, peer-to-peer communication in this community. We highlight implications both for genre analysis and for organizational practice.
Keywords: peer-to-peer, genre analysis
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