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Collaborative filtering: the socio-technical dimension of virtual communities

Adolfo Estalella (

Student on the UOC’s Information and Knowledge Society PhD programme


This research looks at the virtual ethnography of a collaborative community based on a weblog. The research has been carried out with the theoretical framework from the studies into the Social Construction of Technology with analysis that avoids any distinction, a priori, between the social and technological. The research focuses on fieldwork on symmetrical ethnography which does not discriminate between the types of cause that drive the community dynamics and searches for all the phenomena that are socio-technical in origin, the unbreakable make-up of the elements which are human and material, and social and technological in origin. Based on this outlook and by studying a range of socio-technical mechanisms (including collaborative filtering and the system for anonymity), analysis is carried out on how the community builds and provides meaning for its technical mechanisms and how these structure and model the community dynamics.


weblogs, virtual communities, virtual ethnography, social construction of technology

Published in: September 2005

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