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Crafting a future online A study of how independent craftspeople adopt social media and web technologies

Crafting a future online A study of how independent craftspeople adopt social media and web... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of how independent craftspeople adopt and use social media (SM) in order to promote their creative enterprise. However, some of these opportunities may place a demand for specific knowledge, business and technical skills on untrained artists. The purpose of this paper is to look into this emerging phenomena, the challenges and opportunities it presents and to propose solutions or recommendations to independent artists, training organisations, and government bodies who may wish to promote the creative industries. Design/methodology/approach – In order to identify different modes of adoption of SM and some of the related challenges within this domain, interviews were conducted with independent craftspeople in order to explore these topics and identify emergent themes. The research focuses on an ethnographic study through an interpretive lens; Habermas' theory of communicative action is drawn on to explore the adoption and use of technology by craftspeople to promote their work and business. Findings – The paper identifies some of the most current challenges for the independent craftsperson in adopting SM to promote and sell products. While participants are aware of benefits of SM technologies, lack of time, lack of technical knowledge and unfamiliarity with new media technologies are all highlighted as barriers to adoption. Proposed recommendations include training and support offered by government development agencies, and cooperatives employing social media experts. Research limitations/implications – Situated within the context of an ongoing ethnographic study, this study was a specific episode carried out at a craft fair to investigate the specific theme of SM adoption for product promotion. Given more time further interviews could be carried out to include a greater range of participants. Craftspeople who work entirely out of a workshop and do not attend events such as craft fairs could be interviewed to give further insight. A future study will present an analysis of the content of web sites, third party portals and social media posts to understand the interactions that take place through web technologies and social media. Originality/value – The findings of this paper can be used in shaping support solutions for independent craftspeople wishing to adopt SM as a method of promoting their product or craft. The discovered challenges may be used to identify potential problems of the Internet and SM for the independent craftsperson. Findings can also be used to inform hosts of e‐commerce sites for independent artists, they may also be used to inform government and funding bodies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Systems and Information Technology Emerald Publishing

Crafting a future online A study of how independent craftspeople adopt social media and web technologies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1328-7265
DOI
10.1108/13287261211232162
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of how independent craftspeople adopt and use social media (SM) in order to promote their creative enterprise. However, some of these opportunities may place a demand for specific knowledge, business and technical skills on untrained artists. The purpose of this paper is to look into this emerging phenomena, the challenges and opportunities it presents and to propose solutions or recommendations to independent artists, training organisations, and government bodies who may wish to promote the creative industries. Design/methodology/approach – In order to identify different modes of adoption of SM and some of the related challenges within this domain, interviews were conducted with independent craftspeople in order to explore these topics and identify emergent themes. The research focuses on an ethnographic study through an interpretive lens; Habermas' theory of communicative action is drawn on to explore the adoption and use of technology by craftspeople to promote their work and business. Findings – The paper identifies some of the most current challenges for the independent craftsperson in adopting SM to promote and sell products. While participants are aware of benefits of SM technologies, lack of time, lack of technical knowledge and unfamiliarity with new media technologies are all highlighted as barriers to adoption. Proposed recommendations include training and support offered by government development agencies, and cooperatives employing social media experts. Research limitations/implications – Situated within the context of an ongoing ethnographic study, this study was a specific episode carried out at a craft fair to investigate the specific theme of SM adoption for product promotion. Given more time further interviews could be carried out to include a greater range of participants. Craftspeople who work entirely out of a workshop and do not attend events such as craft fairs could be interviewed to give further insight. A future study will present an analysis of the content of web sites, third party portals and social media posts to understand the interactions that take place through web technologies and social media. Originality/value – The findings of this paper can be used in shaping support solutions for independent craftspeople wishing to adopt SM as a method of promoting their product or craft. The discovered challenges may be used to identify potential problems of the Internet and SM for the independent craftsperson. Findings can also be used to inform hosts of e‐commerce sites for independent artists, they may also be used to inform government and funding bodies.

Journal

Journal of Systems and Information TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 27, 2012

Keywords: Social media; Crafts; Enterprise; Interpretivism; Business enterprise; Business development; Electronic commerce

References