First Journal Entry

Jonathan believes that the Internet provides the opportunity for people to share their experiences with others in cyberspace.

Today was the day of my graduation from my degree in Multimedia Studies from the University of Glamorgan, I got a 2i overall, but managed to get a first in my project.

As you may know if you read the Pontypridd & Llantrisant Observer, my degree project was to develop a virtual community for the Llantrisant Town Trust. Llantrisant Online, as it is called, has many things in common with other virtual communities; in that people can post messages, chat in chat rooms and find information, but also has a few unique features. Using the feature called the ‘Circle of Friends’, people can build networks of their online friends and categorise them according to whether they are family, people they trust or people they do not trust. If someone is trusted they gain one point, if they are not trusted they loose one point.

I am now hoping to take my research further to do a PhD, something I have wanted to do since I was eleven. I want to find out whether virtual environments can be designed in such a way that they encourage people to carry out certain actions, like posting to a message board in a virtual community, or buying a product in a virtual marketplace. I will do this by developing a virtual marketplace that learns about the person using it and adapts to encourage them to continue using it.

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