Considers the evolution of the Internet through the lens of use and using.
What is the Internet? Is it an information technology, broadcast and publishing medium, communication, or social technology? How does the Internet fit with the everyday professional and personal lives of people living in a modern democracy? Government, business, the education sector, and the media are consistently promoting the view that the Internet represents the cutting edge for human communication and access to information. In light of this, it is surprising that very little has been written about the people who are using the network and how it is being used. In fact, we know very little about the citizens of this so-called global village. This is due, in part, to the complexities of Internet use. The sheer numbers of people now using the Internet defy the writer and researcher trying to define, systematically observe, theorize, generalize, and recommend policy. Existing studies of Internet users have tended to focus on particular groups like academics, lawyers, and managers because these groups are discrete and definable. The problem is that the Internet user in 2002 and beyond is not necessarily affiliated with an institution, organization, or profession. These new users are the consumer users, casual users, local library users, and school users who surfaced in the late 1990s with broaderbased public access to the Internet. The story of the Internet is a story about research, technology and innovation, information, and communication, but most of all, the Internet is a story about people. It is about people buying and selling, learning and teaching. It is a story about innovative and creative thinkers and the ideas and values of individuals and groups of people. This book answers the question, 'What is the Internet?' by focusing on who is the Internet. The User's View of the Internet provides the first comprehensive analysis of public access to the Internet. It considers the evolution of the Internet through the lens of use and using. It will appeal to Internet stakeholders who need to know more about the impact of the network on their audience, market, clients, users, or constituencies. These stakeholders include business, government, Internet service providers, digital service/product developers, librarians, media and publishing professionals, educators, academics, and students.
Table of Contents
The Internet Story 1 (18)
Technology and People 19 (12)
A Focus on Usings 31 (38)
Users of the Internet 69 (88)
The User's View of the Internet 157(28)
About the Author 223