The Matter Of Community Throughout The Internet’s History

Certainly, the emergence and the development of the internet since the 1960s has revolutionised our world with various technical and social capabilities. Those, are holding an enormous impact on our everyday lives, growing in parallel to other processes, such as the political, economic etc.

 

Along the technological evolution, I find the matter of community and the way it changed throughout the history of the internet- a fascinating and powerful view to examine. The rise of online discussion’s forms, from news sites to blogs and social media- lead to the broadening of debates and empowering of ideas’ flows.

 

The contemporary form of the internet is featured by courses of information’s commodity and a wide interpersonal communication. Those, as to Papacharissi (2010), are “connecting more heterogeneous groups of people to bring about social and political change”. If we are to understand the wide stage the internet provides to the public sphere today, we may consider more than 152,000,000 bloggers around the web, 307 million monthly active users on Twitter and around 40 million unique users each week in the BBC’s news website. Those, have been developed on a fast stream since the 1990s. They represent the way the internet promoted and is still promoting processes such as globalization and democratization, which are so central to our everyday lives.

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2 Comments

  1. The matter of community is a crucial concept within the history and understanding of the Internet as a platform for viewing, connecting, sharing and gathering. A platform that has indeed changed the way audiences and users consider themselves dramatically. However, I do not consider it appropriate to use a term such as “Internet community,” simply because it is too complicated and diverse to understand. Instead, we should try to boil it down.

    The emerging and development of this global online environment stimulated the forces of “social and political change” by bringing people together (Papacharissi, 2010). Nothing surprising. Since its “birth,” the Internet, as the social platform we are experiencing today, has been increasingly and quite successfully building a long lasting sense of belonging in its users- generation by generation.

    This sense is represented very well by the different social media platforms nowadays, which serve a loyal audience. These are the true and ultimate, at least in my opinion, representatives of the concept of “communities,” discussed in this post. They form and sustain the far wider and differentiated audience we can refer to as “Internet community.”

    Can we find proof of its existence (see “The Matter of Community Throughout the Internet’s History”)? Is there something definite beyond the data, with which we are constantly supplied (see “Which me is the real me?”)? There definitely is. And it is staring at the screen right now. Yes, it is you- the curious consumer, the product of this constant pressure for a sense of belonging.

    As already discussed by one of my colleagues (see “Then and now, how internet changed the world”), it is all of us- the generation that grew up and will never know life without a membership to an “online community.” We are the ultimate proof.

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