Social networks have transformed our web browsing habits, and form an essential part of our daily lives. As a student of computer science, I found it especially interesting to design and create a new social network aimed at a particular area.
Residents of apartment complexes or university dormitories live isolated lives, rarely or never keeping in contact with each other. With the number of residents increasing, it becomes more and more difficult to determine the collective opinion of the community, and bottom-up organized groups have higher hurdles to overcome.
My thesis seeks a solution to this problem. My objective was to build a virtual social interface that forms a unified platform for every resident, and that is fully suitable for communicating opinions regarding communal areas in a way that promotes and supports the realization of bottom-up initiatives and groups.
Using the resulting application, members, rooms and internal groups of the Schönherz dormitory may keep in contact with each other through community forums and discussion boards. Individually or with others, they may form clubs, and transform the virtual communal areas around the dormitory through group decisions, in a democratic way.
Preceding research programs in this topic often only had a short timeframe, and tried the given processes mostly on paper (like board games), in smaller communities. This would be superseded by the finished web application, that could represent the communal area formed according to the needs of users in real time, even with a much higher number of participants. I hope this application will be used in the future to publish more detailed observations and more comprehensive research.