The death and life of great Internet cities

Joe Kloc, , Dec 26, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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There was once a movement afoot to brand internet users as 'Digital Citizens',  'Net Citizens' or 'Netizens'. It was a metaphor that never to me made much sense, and I objected in blog form to some of the presumptions propagated by entities like Wired. Interestingly the Net Citizen profile I was criticizing in 1997 is the same as the MOOC participant profile of today: affluent free marketers who are educated, vote and embrace change. The writers of Wired would have done well to read Rogers (and I'm sure we'd see the same profile charactizing users of Google Glass). Anyhow, though the Netizen idea was silly the metaphor of the internet as place was real, defining as it did the idea of the digital city, and that great abandoned wasteland of the early internet, Geocities. This post looks back on those glory days. (this and the next post via Tom Woodward).

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