14.0706 the Net = AOL Time Warner?

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 01 2001 - 12:06:17 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 706.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 16:40:34 +0000
             From: aimeefreak <ahm@ualberta.ca>
             Subject: net == AOL Time Warner?

    hello humanists;

    yesterday's internet law news digest delivered this little tidbit to me:

    "For all the talk of the limitless possibilities of the Web,
    a report today suggests that AOL Time Warner web sites
    accounted for one-third of all time spent online in January
    in the United States.
    http://www0.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/065875.htm "

    it strikes me that there is an ever-widening split between the *rhetoric*
    of how the internet/the web functions, and the cold-hard-capitalist-facts
    of the same. so, as much as we might all discursively relive the halcyon
    days of a purely academic and cooperative net, or bask in the remembrance
    of the mid-90s, where pet-rat pages outnumbered corporate sites, it would
    seem that although the countless bazillions of net documents are still
    primarily private and self-published in the much-trumpeted democratic
    manner, **nobody is really looking at these**.

    if my academic (anarchic, ungovernable, democratic, self-published, and
    free-speeching) web site falls in the forest, and no one is there to hit
    it, does it make a sound? :-)

    i wonder, for example, what's to be gained by continuing to call the
    internet anarchic, ungovernable, unknowable, when it seems that a really
    high percentage of users are employing it in much the same way as
    traditional media.

    so: if **one-third** of all surfers never leave the AOL-enframed space,
    what does that mean for computing humanists? especially those who do work
    on the web, etc? does this shed any new light on how we should be teaching
    the net (research, writing, surfing, etc)? is the net shifting from a
    library to a tv station? or is it both? how to tell?

    that the number was this high shocked me. i'm not sure what it means, but
    i thought it might interest you.

    in other news: marni jackson, writing in the books section of the _globe
    and mail_ (national canadian newspaper), made glowing reference to the
    blake archive a couple of weekends ago. another columnist also recently
    wrote about project gutenberg. holy crossover, batman! :-)

    Aimee Morrison "I love deadlines. I like the
    PhD Program, Dept. of English whooshing sound they make as
    University of Alberta they fly by."
                                              -- Douglas Adams

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