The Internet is a medium with great consequences for social and economic life. This book is written to help people discern in what ways it has commanded the public imagination, and the methodological issues that arise when one tries to study and understand the social processes occurring within it. The contributors offer original responses in the search for, and critique of, methods with which to study the Internet and the social, political, economic, artistic, and communicative phenomena occurring within and around it.
Chapter 11: Researching and Creating Community Networks
Researching and Creating Community Networks
Most researchers regard the Internet and the World Wide Web as technologies that are transforming the world into a “global village.” Indeed, as we come increasingly to rely on computer networks to communicate at work, search for information, and chat or game with distant partners, attention seems to be focused on new opportunities for interaction in various “virtual” places and, correspondingly, diverted from the social interaction we encounter in our geographical place or community.
In contrast, a rapidly growing community networking movement has chosen to use the Internet and the World Wide Web as resources to enhance the development of geographically based communities. Although estimates vary, in 1996, for example, as many as 390 computerized community ...