Staunton Makerspace Communication and Classes Management Systems; A Comparative Analysis of WeChat and Facebook and Data Privacy Sentiment in China and the United States

Dubey, Pranay, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

The Staunton Makerspace, located in Staunton, Virginia, was in need of a centralized system to communicate with and monitor members, as well as create, sign up for, and manage classes offered at the Makerspace. To tackle these issues, two teams were formed: a team to handle communication within the Makerspace and a team to create the class management system. The two systems operate in unison and can communicate with each other to deliver relevant information to members of the makerspace and facilitate the process of class registration and management. Under the system created by both teams, members of the makerspace are presented with a listing of their unread messages upon entering using their preexisting swipe-based access. These messages can be viewed from the system online as well. Volunteers can create accounts, create classes they plan to teach, and view a listing of their classes. Additionally, they can see in real-time the status of sign-ups and a listing of students enrolled. Students can view all available courses and the courses they have signed up for.
The solution was developed to be used in America, predominantly by American people, however, creating such a service for people in China would likely result in a different implementation. The system now used by the Staunton Makerspace was created with a very individualistic mindset. Given the predominance of collectivist ideals in Chinese culture, a similar service could differ in allowing students to see classes other people are taking or allow students to form their own groups. The existing differences in culture between China and the United States are manifested in a host of ways over the internet and their effects are especially apparent upon observing their respective implementations of social media services and their mindsets towards data privacy.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Staunton Makerspace, Facebook vs. WeChat, Collectivist, Individualistic

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim
STS Advisor: Sharon Ku
Technical Team Members: Damon Cestaro, Hunter Williams, Kane Lee, Evan Typanski, Michael Laterza, Michael Wood, Samuel Ting

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