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published: April, 2002

© Archives & Museum Informatics, 2002.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License


Communitics : politics, design and survival of a virtual community
Marie-Eve Brisson, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Benoît Brosseau, Uqàm (University of Québec in Montréal), Canada

Demonstration: Demonstrations 1

When theory comes to practice : the applicability of psychosociology of communication to museum stakes.

The demonstration is a case-study of the implantation and the maintain of the virtual community born from the online forum of the website La réforme-parents.

It is the occasion to share the experience of the LCA of the University of Québec in Montréal with the museal community. The communitics, defined as the applied science of the social networks, implies the understanding of human and social factors of the community. The Applied Communitics Laboratory (LCA) provides multimedia contents for the educational field. Fraktal, the Forum québécois en communautique, is its last realization. The forum provides a platform of exchange about the integration and the appropriation of new medias into education. Sharing knowledge communities and e-learning are some of the orientations of the lab, that live throughout research, development and formation.

The museum is a place of exchange, of reappropriation of culture, history, objects and phenomenons, of construction of identity, operated mainly by the creation of sens. It has been invested of a social role that implies from him the restoration of public spaces to meeting and confrontation of ideas. In the very recent past, online forums are being created by museums in complement to their exhibitions, with more or less success, changing the traditional unidirectional idea of diffusion towards a multipoint circulation of knowledge that results in the creation of new knowledge.

But very fast, politic problematics emerge from institutions and affect the way these forums are implanted and maintained. My reflexion is based on the case of the online forum of a website developed for the CSPI, an administrative unity of the scolar network in Montreal, which aim was to inform parents about the controversial educational reform that is slowly taking place in the province of Québec. Fast, we have been asked to provide controling fonctions to the administrators of the site, for the regulation of comments coming from the visitors. Which kind of normative framework can we develop into that context of strong social debate?

The answer may come from the implantation, the animation and the maintain of the forum, inherent steps of its survival and of the protection of the institutional image of the museum. Mobilization and canalization will be some of the keywords to be employed in the elaboration of the model of a fonctional structure of virtual community. Sources will mainly be drawn from psychosociology and will be applied to precise cases.