Contribution to Book
Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction: Experiences and Outcomes
This case examines how a community of organizations providing service to people experiencing homelessness made use of an electronic mail list. Current economic conditions have encouraged organizations in various sectors—including nonprofits—that might normally compete for scarce resources to collaborate with one another to increase their chances of survival. One set of tools likely to be of value in such relationships includes various online discussion technologies. An examination of this community’s email list use over a three-year period suggests a somewhat complex picture regarding technology use. More specifically, some issues both constrain and enable use. Additionally, seemingly basic and minimal uses of the list provided not only the greatest functionality for the users, but also led to several unanticipated consequences for those involved.