The 1990s saw the emergence of computer networking as a major component of communications and media, with the dominant metaphors for information technology shifting from computing and artificial intelligence to networking and communication. Personal computers with multimedia production and playback capabilities became ubiquitous. Computer networking extended its reach beyond hobbyist, research, and government communities to the broader public. Coinciding with these technological changes came profound shifts in society and culture. The growing engagement with digitally networked media has been accompanied by an interrelated set of social, cultural, and technological developments known collectively as networked publics. This book focuses on networked publics centered around four key trends: accessibility to digital tools and networks, many-to-many and peer-to-peer forms of distribution, value at the edges, and aggregation of culture and information. More specifically, it explores networked publics in the United States in the context of place, culture, infrastructure, and politics.
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