Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The low down

Tutorial Six: The internet and online communities

Provide the web address and the name of the community you are investigating


What is the brief or focus of this community

The Lowdown is part of a national public health campaign (the National Depression Initiative) and has been created to reduce the impact of depression on the lives of New Zealanders, as well as being a component of the New Zealand Government’s approach to suicide prevention.

The Lowdown aims to help young people recognise and understand depression. This site encourages and enables them to seek appropriate help, or puts them in touch with trained professionals. Through encouraging early treatment of depression the NDI intends to reduce the impact depression has on the lives of young New Zealanders, now and throughout their adult lives.

What services are provided?

You can hear from musicians, celebs and everyday people sharing their own personal experiences with depression. If you have any questions or you want to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, you can text or email The Lowdown team in the Chat section. Or you can just chill and listen to some great kiwi music from artists featured on the site.

Also provides facts, help services, urgent help contacts and a self test.

Comment on why people choose to contribute to this community. What is it they are seeking?

Community organisations: range from informal family or kinship networks, to more formal incorporated associations, political decision making structures, economic enterprises, or professional associations at a small, national or international scale.

For people seeking information and a service regarding depression, it provides a place for people to discuss with others their stories and experiences in regard to depression. It is a mutual ground where no stigma is attached and people can relate to one another openly.

EXAMPLE: My name is Jordyn Fisher, im 15 yrs old and I wish to share with you a piece of writing i created to give hope to those that suffer from depression. My poem is entitled "Merely A State Of Mind".

Hopefully this helps to make a difference or give some form of hope. Depression hits close to home as one of my friends has depression. Thanks for your time and I hope this helps :)

This entry offered a poem about the experience of depression and presents inspiration for others living with depression.

Potential ethical issues that may arise in this community?

Some (as a lot of sites) may not take the website seriously and abuse the right to express themselves.

People may choose to be anonymous which allows identity to be safe from others.

Six team members monitor the chat rooms and are all qualified and experienced in helping people deal with problems going on in their life.

Benefits this community holds over traditional notions of community?

Experiences can always be shared without revealing identity. Location can often restrict the access to such services, however the internet provides a 24 hour 7 days a week support no matter where you are.

Celebrities provide positive role models and can reach the public in ways not otherwise accessible.

What this community lacks or can not provide which traditional communities can.

This website lacks personal contact, which can often reveal more than just words. Without the contact it limits rapport building, and written information can often be taken the wrong way without the emotion that coincides.

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