From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.

This site documents the process and the results.


by Mizuko Ito

The era of digital media and networking is no longer in its infancy. The nineties were a pivotal decade in which computer networking became a core player in communications and media content delivery. During this period, the dominant metaphors for information technology changed from computing and artificial intelligence to networking and communication, although multimedia became a standard for personal computers. With the advent of graphical browsers, the establishment of consumer broadband Internet providers, and popular Internet adoption, computer networking expanded its reach beyond hobbyist, research, and government communities to the broader public. Although the dot-com boom and bust of the late nineties absorbed public discourse surrounding the Internet, both during this period and afterwards, the Internet became the backbone for more and more of our everyday communications, commerce, and content delivery. At the same time, mobile phone technology became more ubiquitous and is now one of the most widely used portals to information technology. More recently, dynamic visual media such as videos and movies entered the Internet ecology, and increasingly sophisticated infrastructures for social exchange have heralded what some technologists are now calling Web 2.0.[1]

These technological changes are tied to important shifts in society and culture. Networked digital media are beginning to be taken for granted in everyday life. Although the nature of adoption varies widely by factors such as nation, region, class, and gender, an increasing number of people are domesticating networked digital media for their ongoing business, for socialization, and for cultural exchange. This is particularly true of the current generation of teens and young adults in postindustrial countries growing up with networked digital media as a fact of life. This may take the form of young people in Japan who use their multimedia mobile phone as their primary communications portal, in the Philippines where text messaging has revolutionized political mobilization,[2] or in Korea where total penetration of homes by broadband Internet has enabled radically new forms of online sociality.

Our focus in this book, however, is on the United States, which is both an unusual and exemplary case. Although the United States has lagged behind other industrial countries in certain areas, such as the adoption of big broadband or mobile Internet, it continues to have a leadership role in the development of Internet standards, communications software, and related social practices, most recently those embedded within so-called social software. Many of the contributors to this volume have done research in other countries, and our work is informed by an international perspective; however we made the decision early on that we would focus our efforts on the national context, where we had the most collective expertise. We are not blind to the fact that other high-tech and developing countries, leapfrogging their way to wireless Internet, could be considered the cutting edge of contemporary network society and culture. Rather, our aim is deliberately parochialized to the specifics of the U. S. context, with its particular blend of concerns surrounding infrastructural development, political expression, IP (Internet Protocol) issues, and certain modes of cultural production. We consider the U. S. case as a specific, but still broadly influential, context of networked society and culture.

This introduction provides a preview and framework for the chapters to follow. After introducing the background to this book and the conceptual approach, I introduce themes that cut across the individual chapters by describing 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. These themes are intended as a guiding framework for understanding the relation between the chapters in the body of the book, organized by the topics of place, culture, infrastructure, and politics.


The term networked publics references a linked set of social, cultural, and technological developments that have accompanied the growing engagement with digitally networked media. The Internet has not completely changed the media’s role in society: mass media, or one-to-many communications, continue to cater to a wide arena of cultural life. What has changed are the ways in which people are networked and mobilized with and through media. The term networked publics is an alternative to terms such as audience or consumer. Rather than assume that everyday media engagement is passive or consumptive, the term publics foregrounds a more engaged stance. Networked publics takes this further; now publics are communicating more and more through complex networks that are bottom-up, top-down, as well as side-to-side. Publics can be reactors, (re)makers and (re)distributors, engaging in shared culture and knowledge through discourse and social exchange as well as through acts of media reception. With the growth of multimedia on the Internet, publics can traffic in both professional and personal media, in new forms of many-to-many communication that are often routed around commercial media distribution. Personal media and communications technologies such as telephony, e-mail, text messaging, and everyday photography and journaling are colliding with commercial and mass media such as television, film, and commercial music. This is what Henry Jenkins has described as “convergence culture, where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways.”[3] This book describes the current state of networked publics at the layers of place, culture, politics, and infrastructure, examining historical context and speculating about an unfolding future.

If networked media ecologies are maturing and becoming more established in our everyday lives, we are also still clearly in a moment of transition. We write this book not only to describe emergent developments in networked society, technology, and culture, but also to provide an accessible text to inform debate about our media future. For example, the chapters in the body of the book take on issues such as privacy in the rise of the “Internet of things,” debates over net neutrality, controversies over intellectual property in the culture industries, and whether Internet culture supports democracy and deliberative discourse.

Our method is interdisciplinary, syncretic, and collaborative. This book is a result of a year-long fellowship program at the Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California, where scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines convened to consider the present and future of networked society and culture. From the outset, we decided against producing an edited work that would be simply a record of our diverse interests, with each scholar contributing a chapter in the well-established mode of an edited collection. To this end, we turned to the technologies that we are researching as vehicles for developing a collective intelligence. These included wikis, blogs, content management systems, and networked writing sites, as well as the usual toolkit of e-mail, instant messaging, and face-to-face and telephone conversation. A record of our work can be found at A collaborative writing project, this book has pushed each of us beyond our specific research projects to consider the relationships between our different areas of study, working to build conceptual linkages that outline the contours of contemporary networked society in broad terms. To survey the spread of networked digital culture, it was necessary to sample areas and theoretical perspectives well beyond the comfort zone of an individual scholar. Despite the diversity of approaches that we take in this book, we share a collective commitment to an interdisciplinary understanding of sociotechnical change. The authors gathered here come from backgrounds as varied as engineering, architecture, critical studies, political science, communications, history, anthropology, and media arts. Working together demanded that we recognize the importance of a wide variety of factors including behavior, economy, culture, politics, and technology.

When writing about new technologies, it is tempting to focus on the technologies as the site of interest and the most decisive driver of change; however in this book we work actively against a technically determinist frame. One of the primary theoretical innovations of contemporary technology studies has been the recognition that technology does not stand apart as an external force, impacting society and culture. Rather, technologies are embodiments of social and cultural structures that in turn get taken up in new ways by existing social groups and cultural categories.[4] As Lawrence Lessig famously argues in the case of legal structures being embodied in technical architectures, “law is code.”[5] Similarly, John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid have argued that information has a “social life” that structures its uptake and creation.[6] This stance is foundational to the interdisciplinary approach we take. Sociocultural factors are subject to technical analysis just as technical factors are subject to social and cultural analysis. This stance also demands that our writing is not focused on specific new technologies, but rather on longstanding social, cultural, technical, and material domains. The chapter topics—place, culture, politics, and infrastructure—are meant to locate contemporary technologies within broader historical trajectories.

This recognition of the social, culture, and material nature of information technology is not only a research commitment; it is also a sign of the technological times. As computers have moved from being standalone boxes that were “computing machines” or “models of the mind” to being networked devices for human communication, our popular understandings of computers have also changed. We look to the online world as a source of sociality and culture, and designers of new online systems recognize that they are engaged in social engineering as well as technical engineering. For many, computers and digital technologies have become intimate, indispensable, and pervasive in their lives. More recently, with the advent of portable networked technologies such as the mobile phone and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, as well as location-based networked systems, we are also being forced to recognize information systems’ relation to the materiality of diverse objects and places. In other words, the interdisciplinary approach that we take in this book is tuned to the current moment in networked culture and society, a moment when we are actively grappling with the massive convergence of society, culture, places, and things via the medium of the Internet.

Our review of networked society and culture is certainly not comprehensive. We do not, for the most part, delve into the details of particular technologies, platforms, or online sites. The reader should not expect coverage of many of the developments in online systems that have been most visible in public discourse, whether that is multiplayer online games, eBay, blogs, MySpace, or YouTube. Our intention is not to rehash material already covered by the popular media as well as a growing body of scholarly case studies. Instead, we direct our efforts toward reading across these different developments to identify broader patterns and shifts in culture and society. We mobilize case studies that speak to these broader trends, though they may not be the trends that are most visible or debated in public culture today. This book is also not intended as a theoretical text that proposes a new framework for understanding digital networks. In recent years, significant texts have been published that are defining the terms of debate in this area. We introduce what we believe to be key thinkers and concepts for understanding networked and convergent culture and society. Recent theoretical texts that have been particularly influential to our enterprise are featured in boxes throughout this book. Our goal is to bring these theoretical contributions into conversation with one another and into relation with the wide range of content areas and examples that we have collectively researched. In this way, we have tailored this book to the strengths of a collective enterprise and collaborative writing process.

I now turn to an overview of some overarching themes covered throughout the book: the accessibility to digital production and networking tools, peer-to-peer and many-to-many forms of content distribution and publishing, value at the edges, and aggregation of information and culture.


The current growth of networked publics is grounded in the spread of digital technologies and networks. Lowered costs of processing power and digital storage, accessibility of various digital production tools, as well as more pervasive network infrastructures—particularly through mobile and wireless technologies—are all important factors. Yochai Benkler characterizes this as one of the central shifts toward a networked information economy: “the move to a communications environment built on cheap processors with high computation capabilities, interconnected in a pervasive network.”[7] This distribution of processing power to larger masses of people is linked to an unprecedented spread of the means of cultural and information production and dissemination. It has been a decade or so since access to the production of text-based digital content through word processing, text messaging, and e-mail became relatively common in the United States. More recently, easy-to-use Web editors, blogging software, and digital cameras enabled multimedia publication using a standard personal computer toolkit. Now with the spread of digital video cameras, the means to produce video are readily available as a standard package of personal computer functionality. Software programs such as iMovie and GarageBand, and Web sites like Flickr and YouTube, are exemplary of this new ability in everyday life to author rich digital media. Taking this idea further, the chapter on culture describes the growth of amateur digital content being shared online, and the growing salience of cultural styles of remix and appropriation. Similarly, the chapter on politics describes new modes of bottom-up political expression and mobilization that are enabled when the means of digital production are close at hand.

In addition to the distribution of the means of cultural and knowledge production, networking infrastructures are becoming increasingly pervasive and varied. The intimate presence of the mobile phone in our everyday lives is probably the most emblematic shift in this relation of network accessibility. Users rely on handheld devices to maintain an always-on relation to information and personal networks, as well as utilizing them as ready-at-hand digital production devices for snapping photos and crafting text messages. In addition, the presence of Wi-Fi and other wireless Internet infrastructures is growing, along with experimental efforts in Internet-connected automobiles and location-based networking services. The chapter on place describes how pervasive digital networks are reconfiguring our relation to place by enabling simultaneous presence in both physical and networked place. This layer of networked accessibility is tied to a range of social and cultural tensions—drivers are distracted by their mobile phones and screens; massive, multiplayer online games capture players’ attention at the expense of out-of-game commitments; parents and children alike text others from the dining room table; and people congregate in cafés only to huddle in front of their laptops. We are still very much in the midst of negotiating appropriate social norms in this era of layered presence.

The issue of pervasive networked connectivity involves the politics of objects and infrastructure as well as interpersonal social negotiations. The chapter on place describes how locations and objects are becoming part of networked publics through technologies such as Geographic Information Systems and RFID tags. As these new systems are deployed to map the traffic in objects and the characteristics of places, we should expect to see a new set of social controversies about privacy and the invasiveness of digital networks. The chapter on infrastructure sounds another cautionary note, warning us not to assume that networking infrastructures are always deployed in even and equitable ways. This chapter describes the policies and politics surrounding the deployment of “big broadband,” and the political and economic obstacles that stand in the way of cheap, accessible broadband in the United States. The digital divide is resilient because the bar of technological sophistication continues to rise. Even as larger masses of people gain access to digital technologies and networks through mobile phones, big broadband and state-of-the-art personal computers remain out of reach for most.

Peer-to-Peer and Many-to-Many

From the growing accessibility of digital tools and networks have come new means and practices for distributing digital content. As the chapter on infrastructure notes, from its inception the Internet has relied on an open end-to-end (E2E) architecture that has prioritized the free flow of content from the ends, rather than being selective about types of content or where the content traveled. As the Internet has scaled up, and as networking applications have become more sophisticated, this E2E architecture has helped support cultures of peer-to-peer (P2P) media distribution and many-to-many (M2M) forms of communication.

From the eighteenth century to the present day, media and knowledge were largely communicated through either interpersonal talk and dialog or the mass copying and physical distribution of objects such as paper, tapes, CDs, and DVDs. On one end of the spectrum, large-scale media distribution was controlled by commercial industries and their one-to-many infrastructure of broadcast and commodity distribution. On the other end, personal communication was dominated by one-on-one or small-group talk through modalities such as physical gatherings and telephone conversations. Local and amateur media existed in the form of pamphlets, zines, and community media of various kinds, but access to these media forms was limited in terms of resources and reach. P2P Internet tools enable the M2M distribution of amateur and niche content as well as the one-to-many distribution more characteristic of commercial media.

Anyone with access to an Internet connection has a soapbox with which to try and reach their audience, even if that audience is spatially dispersed. P2P distribution systems such as Napster, Kazaa, and BitTorrent, M2M sharing platforms such as DeviantArt, Flickr,, and YouTube, and social networking tools such as MySpace, LiveJournal, and Facebook radically expand opportunities for individuals to share media and information directly with others in a social context. With sites such as eBay,, Lulu, Etsy, and Yahoo Auctions, tangible objects flow through P2P networks, spurring new forms of microenterprises built on secondary market exchange. All of these sites also function as content aggregators that enable niche creators and specialized audiences to find one another. This new mode of M2M distribution has resulted in what Chris Anderson has described as the long tail of media distribution, where sites like are increasingly making money from the small sales of large numbers of niche products rather than just massive sales of bestsellers.[8] Aggregation of M2M distribution also means that media content that may have started in a niche has the potential to reach massive audiences, as we’ve seen in the cases of the Drudge Report, Red vs. Blue, or YouTube celebrities.

Yochai Benkler sees these decentralized networks of communication and exchange as major catalysts of the shift to a networked information economy that is displacing the industrial information economy. In this economic model, “decentralized individual action—specifically, new and important cooperative and coordinated action carried out through radically distributed, nonmarket mechanisms that do not depend on proprietary strategies—plays a much greater role.”[9] In a similar vein, Michael Bauwens sees P2P as an increasingly salient form of human dynamic that is social, economic, and political in nature, and goes so far as to suggest that it is the “premise of the next civilizational stage. .… It’s a form of human network-based organisation which rests upon the free participation of equipotent partners, engaged in the production of common resources, without recourse to monetary compensation as key motivating factor, and not organized according to hierarchical methods of command and control.”[10] As both Benkler and Bauwens suggest, lowered barriers to the means of distribution have meant that the reach of nonmarket sharing of knowledge and culture has expanded dramatically.

In the early days of the Internet, Howard Rheingold described a culture of “virtual community,” characterized by supportive interpersonal interaction.[11] This culture of community-based sharing is still very much alive in many corners of the Internet—in LiveJournal communities, online game guilds, MySpace networks, mailing lists, and Yahoo groups. But these interpersonal networks have been radically augmented by sharing between relative strangers mediated by new sociotechnical systems. People provide content free and anonymously to others via P2P systems such as BitTorrent or Kazaa, muddying the boundaries between what some see as sharing and others have labeled piracy.[12] One-time visitors to these interpersonal networks scatter comments on blogs, and anonymous others browse and comment about personal photos on sites such as Textamerica and Flickr. Social network and reputation systems on eBay and, Technorati link tracking for blogs, and comment “karma” on sites like Slashdot help us navigate and prioritize the massive marketplace for M2M exchange.

P2P networks have different dynamics in the spread of information, tending toward more viral word-of-mouth circulation rather than top-down dissemination. As the chapter on culture describes, a wide range of players have exploited this—including activists packaging political messages in catchy videos, established commercial media using blogs and reader participation, marketers employing these same techniques in viral advertising campaigns, and bands and filmmakers making use of promotional sites to generate buzz through P2P networks. Not surprisingly, there has been a backlash to astroturfing, or public relations campaigns that attempt to simulate grassroots behavior. A text message, or Short Message Service (SMS), zapped from friend to friend has proven to be a potent tool for organizing spontaneous political protests as well as more playful gatherings of flashmobbers. Technologists are also exploring the potential to use these P2P dynamics to design wireless mesh networks that rely on relaying network traffic between individual users rather than a centrally managed network. These viral models are described respectively in the chapters on politics, place, culture, and infrastructure.

The growth of P2P traffic in commercial content has led to a wide range of opportunities as well as new social problems. The most high-profile battles have been with respect to P2P exchange of commercial works such as music, television, and movies. Culture industries are struggling to regulate and monetize the traffic of their content over P2P networks. This has led to high-stakes battles over IP policy and digital rights management technologies.[13] Some of these dynamics are described in the chapter on networked public culture. The underlying issue is the tension between openness and control in the flow of culture and information. In an E2E environment, people also begin to see value in filtering, regulating, and prioritizing the flow of content. This tension appears in the debate over network neutrality, as described in the infrastructure chapter. Commercial content providers are beginning to explore alliances with Internet service providers to filter network traffic in order to prioritize commercial content delivery of P2P traffic. A similar tension is at work in the domain of politics. Although the Internet has spurred a rise in online political discourse, it has been difficult to channel these conversations in ways that conform to the norms of productive political deliberation. The chapter on politics describes the struggle of political activists and theorists to foster political deliberation.

Value at the Edges

In their discussion of business strategy in an era of globalization, John Hagel and John Seely Brown suggest that we should increasingly look to the edges—the edges of companies, markets, geographies, and demographics—to find innovation. They look to the E2E architecture of the Internet as both an enabler and a metaphor for value creation at the edges.[14] The current growth of activism at the ends of the network and media ecology has implications for a wide range of social, cultural, and economic domains. For example, in politics, the Internet has led to a growing visibility of smaller-edge political actors who can make their voices heard in political blogs, make small campaign contributions, coordinate events via viral SMS exchange, or mobilize supporters through networked activist groups. In a similar vein, the chapter on networked public culture focuses on the changing relationship between media producers and consumers, describing the cases of the industries for music, anime, advertising, and news. The growing activism of media audiences in, what Jenkins has called, a “participatory media culture”[15] reverberates back to media industries, reconfiguring the relationship between the edge and the core. The result is new configurations of media markets characterized by proliferating special-interest groups that dwarf what was previously considered the mainstream. This is the core of what Chris Anderson has described as the long tail phenomenon in media markets.[16]

With an expanded network, individuals are able to reach out to a potentially larger and more varied pool of culture and information. While debates on globalization in the heyday of mass media suggested that interconnection would lead to the homogenization of culture, in the Internet era the opposite appears to be the case. What we are seeing now is a proliferation of niches in subcultures, such as English-language fandoms of Japanese animation, a case described in the culture chapter. Teens anywhere in the United States can gain access to niche media from Japan that they would never have been able to get their hands on even a decade ago. Nevertheless, in the blogosphere, this tendency has been criticized as creating an echo chamber: bloggers and audiences are connecting, at greater frequency and fidelity, with people who share their opinions, relying less on the standards of neutrality espoused by the mainstream press. At a lower level of granularity, we also see this in the “telecocoons”[17] described in the chapter on place. Mobile phones, Wi-Fi hot spots, and networked automobiles create personal cocoons of private connectivity and conversation so people can stay connected with the people they feel most comfortable with. At the same time, these technologies have also been criticized as leading to social insularity, as people shut out engagement with copresent others in favor of their remote, but intimate, relations.

This tendency toward niches, peer cultures, and special-interest groups has been widely criticized as leading toward a fragmentation in common culture and standards of knowledge. This critique has been particularly noticeable in the case of news, where professional journalists worry about the breakdown of civic culture and journalistic standards as people turn to the blogosphere for news and opinion. This case is described in the culture chapter. Similarly, the politics chapter describes how deliberative democrats worry that online political discourse is just chatter and is rarely elevated to the level of true deliberation that can have political clout. Within infrastructure policy, this concern manifests in the griping of network providers who bear the expense of wiring the communications backbone. These providers feel that they are providing services for the edges without being able to recoup revenue back to the core. Commercial content providers have a similar complaint—they feel they are providing investment and value into cultural resources that get exploited by the edges without the circulation of revenue back into the industry. Commercial content and network infrastructure providers are joining hands to lobby for the rights of the core to regulate and capitalize on the value being trafficked at the edges, through digital rights management schemes and filtering and by the prioritizing of network traffic.


As networks expand, the dynamic tension between the broader network and individualized niches becomes more pronounced. This is a dynamic that Manuel Castells has famously dubbed the relation between the network and the self,[18] a relation that, in the conclusion of this book, Kazys Varnelis suggests is undergoing a fundamental shift. The growth of value at the edges is linked to the aggregation of a growing range of media content through the Internet and various mechanisms of searching and filtering. As the Internet has evolved from a medium for the exchange of text, to include pictures, sounds, video, and 3D worlds, the scope of the culture and knowledge that is available for digital aggregation and access has expanded dramatically. We not only exchange text and pictures to family and friends, but also links to video and other rich media. Search companies like Google and Yahoo are busily constructing new systems to aggregate and filter video, particularly after YouTube entered the public eye. Game systems like Second Life are putting forth three-dimensional online worlds as general-purpose interfaces to knowledge, culture, and sociability, hoping to renew the desire for a three-dimensional metaverse ignited by cyberpunk authors such as William Gibson and Neal Stephenson.[19] Further, as described in the chapter on place, the embedding of networks in location, the creation of networks of location (as in the case of Google Earth), and the possibility of an Internet of things[20] is also on the horizon. Objects and places are the next targets for aggregation into the digital network. As networks increasingly pervade the nooks and crannies of physical space through portable objects and place-based infrastructure, we have opportunities for an always-on sense of networked connectivity and a layering of presence in various physical and online places.

The effects of this large-scale aggregation of knowledge and culture are varied and often contradictory. Scholars such as Jenkins and Benkler note more powerful and distributed collective intelligences that are enabled by new networking systems. Benkler describes a wide range of cases such as Wikipedia and SETI@home as instances of what he calls “commons-based peer production”: “radically decentralized, collaborative, and nonproprietary; based on sharing resources and outputs among widely distributed, loosely connected individuals who cooperate with each other without relying on either market signals or managerial commands.”[21] Jenkins suggests that “consumption has become a collective process”[22] and describes examples of highly mobilized fan and gaming groups who develop vast stores of collective knowledge about their hobbies. Political groups such as suggest a new model of leveraging network aggregation for political mobilization.

This aggregation effect in the nonmarket sector also has a counterpart in the commercial sector. Anderson’s analysis of the long tail describes the proliferation of niches as tied to the business success of network-based content aggregator sites such as or Rhapsody.[23] Niches feed the aggregators and vice versa in a cycle either virtuous or vicious, depending on your perspective. The advent of sophisticated recommendation and reputation systems also feeds the tendency of individuals to rely on aggregator sites as a channel to niche interests and products. Although network participants may not rely on centralized sources of knowledge such as mainstream news sites or information portal sites, they increasingly turn to search engines and aggregated service sites. The presence of Google as a new information industry behemoth with unprecedented power is testament to the power of aggregation services at this current moment in network society. Network aggregation is taking new forms as objects and locations become integrated into digital networks. The chapter on place describes current speculation about the role of everyday objects as they become increasingly networked. The incorporation of geographic information systems into our everyday lives is well under way with the advent of services such as Google Earth and MapQuest. Now aggregated geodata is accessible to corporations and individuals, allowing companies such as to map the relation between places and lifestyle demographics, or to sell real estate by letting individuals fly in virtual space over neighborhoods mapped to property values. These systems highlight the ways in which aggregation often crosses certain boundaries of privacy, boundaries that are likely to become more pronounced if objects are also transmitting information to the network. Bloggers, webcams, and camera phones now upload a steady stream of information to the Internet—information that can be easily searched, tagged, and reblogged. Already we are seeing a series of moral panics surrounding privacy and accessibility to personal information on sites such as MySpace or Facebook, a louder echo of earlier social problems when search engines first began crawling Net newsgroups and mailing-list archives.

With this we return full circle to the issue of accessibility and ubiquity of the network. The four themes I have outlined—accessibility, P2P and M2M distribution, value at the edges, and aggregation—are threads woven throughout the chapters to follow. The chapters address these technosocial trends in more depth, within specific domains and case studies. Collectively, they trace the contours of an emerging set of networked publics, describing their historical evolution and suggesting the current controversies that are likely to shape their future.





[1]. Tim O’Reilly, “What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software,” O’Reilly Network,

[2]. Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Misa Matsuda, eds., Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005); Jon Agar, Constant Touch: A Global History of the Mobile Phone (Cambridge, UK: Icon Books, 2003); Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 2002).

[3]. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: New York University Press, 2006), 2.

[4]. Paul Edwards, “From ‘Impact’ to Social Process: Computers in Society and Culture,” in Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, ed. Shelia Jasanoff, et al. (London: Sage, 1995); Christine Hine, Virtual Ethnography (London: Sage, 2000); Trevor F. Pinch and Wiebe E. Bijker, “The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other,” in The Social Construction of Technological Systems, ed. Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor Pinch (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987).

[5]. Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York: Basic Books, 1999).

[6]. Brown and Duguid, The Social Life of Information (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002).

[7]. Benkler, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 3.

[8]. Anderson, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (New York: Hyperion, 2006).

[9]. Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, 3.

[10]. Bauwens, “Peer to Peer and Human Evolution,” Integral Visioning,

[11]. Rheingold, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (New York: Addison Wesley, 1993).

[12]. Shuddhabrata Sengupta, “A Letter to the Commons,” in In the Shade of the Commons: Towards a Culture of Open Networks, ed. Lipika Bansai, Paul Keller, and Geert Lovink (Amsterdam: The Waag Society, 2006).

[13]. See Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity (New York: Penguin, 2004).

[14]. Hagel and Brown, The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2005).

[15]. Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (New York: Routledge, 1992); Jenkins, Convergence Culture.

[16]. Anderson, The Long Tail.

[17]. Ichiyo Habuchi, “Accelerating Reflexivity,” in Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, ed. Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Misa Matsuda (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).

[18]. Castells, The Rise of the Network Society (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996).

[19]. Gibson, Neuromancer (London: Victor Golancz, 1985); Stephenson, Snow Crash (New York: Bantam Books, 1992).

[20]. International Telecommunication Union, “ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things,” (Geneva: International Telecommunication Union, 2005), 2–5.

[21]. Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, 60.

[22]. Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 4.

[23]. Anderson, The Long Tail.