Title: The prototypal social entrepreneur: a case study about social and economic leveraging of virtual community in regional Australia

Authors: Judy Drennan, Josephine Previte

Addresses: School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Q 4001, Australia. ' School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Q 4001, Australia

Abstract: The network community concept is generally surrounded by substantial hype and enthusiasm, because project visionaries hope computer mediated communication will increase the social capital needed to build sustainable communities and help prevent or reduce community deterioration. The Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) is a networked community success story which has inspired the introduction of similar projects around the globe. One aspirant was the Nerang Electronic Village (NEV) project in regional Australia. This paper investigates the community network philosophy and presents a case study of an Australian community|s attempt to implement the electronic village blueprint. Comparisons drawn between the successful BEV project and the unsuccessful NEV initiative demonstrate the prototypical social entrepreneurial role required to diffuse community-based technological solutions focused on sustaining regional communities.

Keywords: internet; enterprise management; social entrepreneurs; virtual community; social capital; internet; digital divide; Australia; network community; electronic village; web based communities; entrepreneurship; regional communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIEM.2007.014086

International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 2007 Vol.5 No.2, pp.136 - 157

Published online: 18 Jun 2007 *

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