Hometown websites: continuous maintenance of cross-border connections
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) become particularly relevant in contexts where place-based communities get dispersed and migrants look for ways to keep strong connections to the homeland. This paper presents the case of a website currently being used by migrants and non-migrants of a dispersed community to keep in touch with each other as well as to keep connected with daily life in their hometown. In particular, this work aims to understand the main types of information conveyed as well as temporal patterns of community exchanges as afforded by the website. This work analyses and classifies Guestbook entries, Photos and News notes suggesting that people use the site to reconnect, strengthen their local identity and be part of community life. We found out that user-generated content tend to increase during periods when there are fewer visits to the website. Results presented here are relevant towards understanding the nature and role played by ICTs in maintaining cross-border connections.