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Universität Bremen - Fachbereich 3 - Informatik


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From Marketplace to Agora ­ The Internet as a community space

Datum: 16.02.2007
Uhrzeit: 17 Uhr c.t. - 19 Uhr

Stadt: Bremen
Institution/Treffpunkt: Gästehaus der Universität Bremen, Teerhof

Vortragende(r): Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Coy (Humboldt Universität Berlin)

Achtung, außer der Reihe!
Im Rahmen des Symposiums Media Theory's Role in Digital Media Studies

Though the modern Internet may have started in 1994 with the opening of a former academic network to commercial enterprises it is still an open question whether the net has become a market or shopping mall, where "an immense accumulation of commodities² and services is to be sold and bought, or if the Internet is to be modeled along the classical agora, a plaza, or "the street,² as common public space where politics, games, culture, banks and markets are situated adjacent to each other. Certainly the Internet as a service must be paid, but payment may be secured in many ways. Selling and buying is only one aspect of such an agora, attractive enough to establish and permeate the existence of the net. Also the transfer of money and goods is only one aspect of exchange between people among many others. Between the very commercial use of advertising to the non-commercial uses of discussion groups and weblogs the global net is a space for learning, play, work, entertainment and many other, maybe not even yet invented purposes. As the Internet grows steadily as market place, it becomes more obvious that this market depends on a stable infrastructure. But the infrastructure is much like its material counterparts of streets and places not necessarily only a place for trading goods. Its value raises with additional non-commercial community uses, much as the ambiance of a city is not defined primarily by its shopping malls. The building of communities, global and local, is arguably the most important promise of an Internet to be inhabited by citizens that may sometimes be clients and sometimes be consumers, but remain all times users of this 21 century global infrastructure.