Planning Research on Chinese Culture English Virtual Community

Article excerpt

Abstract

To solve the problem existing in Chinese culture English websites, which is focusing on "introduction" while ignoring "communication", based on the concept and core applications of virtual community, a planning research on Chinese culture English virtual community is described in this paper, which includes general requirement analysis, general structure planning and application platform planning. The aim is to provide a more comprehensive internet platform for foreigners to learn Chinese culture.

Key words: Chinese culture; Virtual community; Website planning; Information systems

INTRODUCTION

Chinese culture has a long and profound history. It is the treasure of not only Chinese, but also people all over the world. In recent years, following the rapid rise of Chinese economy and international status, more and more foreigners are eager to learn Chinese culture. Therefore, Chinese culture English websites1 have appeared. China Culture Information Net aims at introducing Chinese culture through online articles. China Culture and Cultural-china provide not only articles but also news. In addition, Cultural-china provides links to buy books about Chinese culture at the same time. However, all the websites are focusing on oneway "introduction" while ignoring "communication" among users and cannot satisfy foreigners' fiirther demand of learning Chinese culture via internet.

"Virtual community forms on internet and is composed of people with common interests and needs" (Ding, 2004, pp. 43-46). Through virtual community, people can not only acquire information but also communicate with each other. Core applications of virtual community include chatting room, mailing list, BBS, blog, wiki and ecommerce etc. (Chai, 2007; Ding, 2004). Therefore, it is feasible to solve the problem existing in Chinese culture English websites by introducing the concept and core applications of virtual community to develop the Chinese culture English virtual community and provide a more comprehensive internet platform for foreigners to learn Chinese culture.

This paper is organized as follows: section 2 gives an overview of website planning. Section 3 provides the general requirement analysis of the Chinese culture English virtual community. Section 4 describes the general structure planning of the virtual community. Section 5 introduces the application platform planning of the virtual community. Finally, section 6 concludes the paper and points out further work.

1. WEBSITE PLANNING

As a kind of information system based on B/S schema, the primary goal and tasks of website planning is similar to information system planning. The primary goal of an information system (website) planning is to propose a long-term development plan for the information system (website) based on user requirements and to determine the development direction of the information system (website) throughout its life cycle. The primary tasks of an information system (website) planning include three stages: general requirement analysis, general structure planning and application platform planning (Gan, Yan, & Du, 2003, pp. 57-241).

Bases on the goal of an information system (website), its substantial and holistic user, function and data requirements are elicited during the general requirement analysis to provide a foundation for the general structure of the information system (website).

Based on the user, function and data requirements, the information system (website) is then divided into subsystems during the general structure planning and both the functions and their data links of those subsystems are determined.

Based on the results of the general structure planning, the general physical (technical) plan of the information system (website) is devised during the application platform planning, which furthermore includes network architecture planning and software platform selection. During the network architecture planning, the distribution of both the hardware and software resources and the data resources of the information system (website) is illustrated. …