The Rise of the Intranet Era
Media, Research, and Policy in an Age of Communications Revolution
New America Foundation | February 20, 2009By Sascha Meinrath, Victor Pickard, New America Foundation
Intranet systems supplant old notions of networking geographic places by allowing people to be both networked and an integral part of the infrastructure-the creation of "device-as-infrastructure networks." These peer-to-peer communications systems provide unprecedented opportunities, as well as serious concerns, for the future of community organizing, political activism, media production, and communication research. Even as evidence accumulates demonstrating how these technologies encourage civic engagement, their social trajectory is far from determined, and the possibility for a more dystopian outcome cannot be dismissed. While drawing from real-world case studies, including community and municipal wireless networks, Indymedia, the iPhone, geo-locational applications and services, and next-generation wireless devices, this chapter documents the emergence of Intranet technologies, discusses their implications for research, and explores policy implications at this critical juncture in telecommunications development and policy making.
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