This paper presents a discussion of design considerations for community web portals as social networking systems. We analyse and compare the social interaction approach, design considerations and socio-technical requirements with regards to community portal technology employed in two master-planned urban developments in Australia and Mexico. We focus on how the human and social concepts and local contextualisations affect technology design and use. In response to our analysis, and to face the challenge of designing for variability and diversity, we present the communicative ecology model as a conceptual tool to help researchers and designers grasp the situated context and purpose of these systems in order to inform the design and development of better community technology
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