LIS 694
Discussion Questions for Chapter 4 of Cortada

  1. What are the salient points the author is trying to communicate here?
  2. On page 97 Cortada talks about how Howard Rheingold "homesteaded" on the Internet. On page 98 Cortada uses the terms "bustling society" and "residents" of the "cyber frontier." On page 101 he talks about a "community of users" and then quotes Rheingold talking about "a community accessible only via my computer screen."

    First, how would you define the term "community" in the broadest sense? How would you apply this term to the World Wide Web? Has your definition of community changed over the past five or ten years?
  3. Consider Castell's notion of spaces of contiguity versus spaces of flows that we talked about in class on the first day. What is the website you visit most often? Does it feel like a "place" to you? Do you feel like you are connecting with people there? Does it feel comparable to visiting a neighboring town or village? How so? How not?
  4. When you are attending class over HITS, is there a sense of place, a sense of shared space that you inhabit with your colleagues? What gives you that feeling? What interferes with it?
  5. Cortada mentions the ability of Internet users in Iran to download western music, in spite of prohibitions by the Iranian government meant to prevent cultural pollution coming from the West. Do you think that there is a danger of cultural pollution? Or perhaps cultural homogenization? Please elaborate.

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