4. Designing the Family Portal for Home Networking / Vankatesh, Chen and Gonzalez

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The internet is usually adapted to the individual use and not to a family as one unit. It is designed to provide personal informative services (e-mail and IM) or general information (economic issues, weather, news etc.). This research deals with the question how does information technology serve the household members. In this research, the invention of "family portal" is directed to domestic dynamics in the domestic space, and not only to the individual. New technolgies change the dynamics and relationships between the different home-space elements: physical, social and technological. This portal aims to help family members to become partners in the virtual space. Two critical approaches for this study are refering to how family life is organized inside the home and what is the content of interactions and sociological behaviours. The family portal aims to serve the family as a unit and has some useful links: a reminder of paying different bills on time, a calendar, a phone book, a family expences list and taxes, and many other sorts of information, such as family photo album, preffered type of music and family videos. It does not pretend to change the personal kind of information technology use but to offer an addition to the existing platform. according to the methodology, that was an ethnographic research - a qualitative research that conducted in-depth interviews with ten families (with children). this sample does not enable us to assume about the implications on the general population. that is an example to a goal-change approach.

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