UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

From sensors to citizens : exploring the tensions of using Web 2.0 technologies to support online volunteerism Martin, Michael Evans


This thesis explores the collaborative and social elements of Web 2.0 and its application to online volunteering by Canadian geographers for African non-governmental organizations. Specifically, it looks beyond the binary issues of access and motivation to tensions that exist when connecting individuals in geographically disparate locations. Using principles from action research, this study is carried out in partnership with the Mapping Across Borders Society, a non-profit group operating in British Columbia, Canada. This study uses semi-structured interviews and thematic coding of emergent themes from interviews with students and professors of Canadian post-secondary institutions and with staff members from African non-governmental organizations. Our findings indicate that there are a wide range of tensions that occur when combining Web 2.0 technologies and online volunteering, that need to be understood to ensure effective online partnerships.

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