[Air-l] Re: Company vs. Community

D. Silver dsilver at u.washington.edu
Tue Dec 18 13:37:52 PST 2001

I've really enjoyed this thread.  It's nice to hear a spectrum of ideas
and it's a great excuse to drag myself away from grading finals.  =)

It's also nice to know that folks are thinking about these issues, and I
would be interested to hear about any published work on these matters. I
agree - I think - with Bram when he says "The assumption that communities
and commerce exist in an agonistic relationship is problematic.  They
don't, necessarily."  What I'd like to see is some critical explorations
of this relationship.  Whether it exists or not is hardly under question;
what it means and what the reprecussions are -- now there's the rub.

Also, Bram said:

> Not the commercialization of online communities, but the constitution
> of online communities inside commercial space.  The Amazon community,
> or eBay community, etc didn't exist prior to Amazon or eBay and then
> become commercialized via Amazon's or eBay's behaviour.  Rather,
> Amazon and eBay produced communities as commercial commodities.

Ok, good point.  What's your take then on something like GeoCities or even
Hot Mail?

One of the subtle points that surfaced during the "Future of Critical
Internet Studies" panel at AIR 2.0 this year was our own role as scholars
and self-reflexive approaches towards the field itself, something
addressed by Steve in his last post.  Lynn Spigel makes a similar
observation in a recent article titled "Yesterday's Future, Tomorrow's
Home" (Emergences 11:1 2001).  It's an interesting point for future
consideration as the field continues to grow.

david silver

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