The City and the Two Sides of Reciprocity
Grassroots activists have been appropriating information communication technologies (ICTs), adapting them to enhance urban living and undertaking local initiatives that are often minimally funded and little reported. This chapter explores several such examples of grassroots appropriation of ICTs, exploring types of groups, their activities, and modus operandi. A broad range of grassroots ICT activism is taking place in urban environments, sometimes parallel to or preceding large scale policy lead "digital city" projects. Grassroots ICT activism broadly into three groupings: pioneers, subcultures, and cooperatives. The first group of grassroots initiatives as Pioneers innovators and early adopters appropriating new networking technologies. While the Pioneer groups are highly decentralised, Cooperatives tend to be highly centralised, with a small number of experts supporting a wider demographic. The chapter reveals a variety of subcultures using ICTs to enhance their practice and share resources within urban areas, and consider three particular groups: electronic artists, cartographers and skateboarders.