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Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet

ISBN: 978-0-8186-7706-9
361 pages
May 1997, Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Press
Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet (0818677066) cover image
Netizens, one of the first books detailing the Internet, looks at the creation and development of this participatory global computer network. The authors conducted online research to find out what makes the Internet "tick". This research results in an informative examination of the pioneering vision and actions that have helped make the Net possible. The book is a detailed description of the Net's construction and a step-by-step view of the past, present, and future of the Internet, the Usenet and the WWW.

The book gives you the needed perspective to understand how the Net can impact the present and the turbulent future. These questions are answered: What is the vision that inspired or guided these people at each step? What was the technical or social problem or need that they were trying to solve? What can be done to help nourish the future extension and development of the Net? How can the Net be made available to a broader set of people?
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Foreword.

Preface.

Introduction.

PART I. THE PRESENT: WHAT HAS BEEN CREATED AND HOW.

Chapter 1. The Net and Netizens: The Effect the Net Has on People's Lives.

Chapter 2. The Evolution of Usenet: The Poor Man's ARPANET

Chapter 3. The Social Forces Behind the Development of Usenet.

Chapter 4. The World of Usenet.

PART II: THE PAST:WHERE HAS IT ALL COME FROM.

Chapter 5. The Vision of Interactive Computing and the Future.

Chapter 6. Cybernetics, Time-sharing Human-Computer Symbiosis and Online Communities: Creating a Supercommunity of Online Communities.

Chapter 7. Behind the Net: The Untold Story of the ARPANET and Computer Science.

Chapter 8. The Birth and Development of the ARPANET.

Chapter 9. On the Early History and Impact of Unix: Tools to Build the Tools for a New Millennium.

Chapter 10. On the Early Days of Usenet: The Roots of the Cooperative Online Culture.

PART III: AND THE FUTURE?

Chapter 11. The NTIA Conference on the Future of the Net: Creating a Prototype for Democratic Decision-Making Process.

Chapter 12. "Imminent Death of the Net Predicted!"

Chapter 13. The Effect of the Net on the Professional News Media: The Usenet Collective/Man-Computer News Symbiosis.

Chapter 14. The Net and the Future of Politics: The Ascendancy of the Commons.

Chapter 15. Exploring New York City's Online Community: A Snapshot of nyc.general.

PART IV: CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD DEVELOPING A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK.

Chapter 16. The Expanding Commonwealth of Learning: Printing and the Net.

Chapter 17. 'Arte': An Economic Perspective: The Role of "Arte" in the Production of Social Wealth.

Chapter 18. The Computer as a Democratizer.

Glossary of Acronyms.

References.

Acknowledgments.

Index.
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Michael Hauben has participated in online communities since the early 1980s. He has worked at the University of Detroit/Mercy and Columbia University helping people use and understand computers. He is a graduate of Columbia University with a BA in Computer Science. Through his pioneering interactive online research, Michael coined and introduced the tern "Netizen" into popular use. He is now a graduate student at Teachers College of Columbia University studying computer mediated communication. Having given the Amateur Computerist newsletter its name, he continues to contribute articles on a regular basis. He has appeared in documentaries about the internet on TV Tokyo, and has been frequently consulted to comment on the growing importance of this new democratic medium. He has given talks in the United States, Japan and Canada about the social significance and history of the internet. He is a member of the ACM, IEEE and IEEE Computer Society. He enjoys listening and dancing to electronic music, working with children and helping people to communicate. Michael is the host of the Netizens Cyberstop World Wide Web page.

Ronda Hauben has her BA from Queens College and her MA from Tufts University. She has taught at Stillman College in Alabama and Wheelock College in Massachusetts. Most recently she taught introductory Unix, email and internet classes at Columbia University. Part of the online community since 1988, she has helped to pioneer online research, and her work has benefited from the comments and contributions of the online community. In January 1994, some of this work was collected in the online anthology "The Netizens and the Wonderful World of the Net: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet". Articles she has written have appeared in the Amateur Computerist, the Linux Journal, the Proceedings of Telecommunities '95, Internet Secrets, READNE, and other publications. She has presented talks to community, university and professional audiences. Her papers have been presented internationally at conferences in Canada and in Ireland, as well as in the USA. She lives in New York City and enjoys participating in Usenet, studying history and going to the theater.
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