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Online Participation with Obstacles: Non-Willingness to Become Facebook fans of a Health-Promoting Web Site
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Media and communication science.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.
2011 (English)In: Merz: medien+erziehung, ISSN 0176-4918, no 6, p. 70-80Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Within dominant branches of contemporary research and public debate, applications like Facebook and Twitter are perceived as social media for user participation. Technical possibilities and socio cultural restrictions for user involvement are identified and discussed. Common to both perspectives is that users’ willingness to participate tends to be taken for granted. By studying a case where the users’ response indicates weak willingness to participate, despite the website producers’ efforts to offer social media for participation, this article wish to contribute to a better understanding of the conditions for online participation on the so-called social Web.

UMO is a very popular Swedish health promoting website intended for offering adolescents knowledge and advisory service on sexual, reproductive and psychical health. In 2010 UMO extended the use of social media by opening a Facebook fan page. One of the reasons was to attract new segments of the target audience, another was to make adolescents become fans. More than a year after the start, none of this have developed in accordance with the intentions and expectations. Analyses of data, gained from a content analysis of UMO’s Facebook fan page besides completing interviews with the administrator of the fan page and adolescent users of UMO, indicates a whole set of possible explanations for UMO’s shortcomings.

The study shows on yet another problem with uncritically asserting that the new Web 2.0 and social media benefit participation. What has been overlooked is that obstacles to participation might as well be sought from the participants themselves, and be an active choice by the audience. The bottom line is that mediatization does not describe a fait accompli, and that socio-cultural change in its wake in no way is universal, but rather is characterized by a set of particularities.

Abstract [de]

UMO ist eine populäre schwedische Website zu gesundheitsbezogenen Themen, auf der Jugendliche Wissen und Beratung zu den Themen sexuelle Gesundheit, Fortpflanzung und psychische Gesundheit finden können. Nachdem UMO sich 2010 dazu entschlossen hatte, eine Facebook Fan Page zu gründen, um unter anderem neue Segmente der Zielgruppe anzusprechen und Jugendliche als Fans zu gewinnen, haben sich diese Erwartungen nach über einem Jahr nicht erfüllt. Die Analyse der Daten, die aus einer Inhaltsanalyse der UMO Facebook Fan Page sowie ergänzenden Interviews mit dem Administrator der Fan Page und jugendlichen Nutzerinnen und Nutzern von UMO gewonnen wurden, weisen auf mögliche Ursachen hin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. no 6, p. 70-80
Keywords [en]
Health promotion, social media, participation
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-16876OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-16876DiVA, id: diva2:466796
Projects
Catching the Benefits of ICT Investments within Nursing and Health CareAvailable from: 2011-12-16 Created: 2011-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, AndersVimarlund, VivianGäre, Klas

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CiteExportLink to record
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