Appropriating a community network
DOI link for Appropriating a community network
Appropriating a community network book
This chapter examines how the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) emerged from a broad planning process, and how community participation emerged from and grew in the BEV project. Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone (2000) was the clarion of crisis for American community. Putnam assembled a body of data indicating social and civic deterioration in American society. He described a few hopeful signs in contemporary society. As the second decade of the BEV is coming to an end, the community is still benefiting from that distant field of dreams. The World-Wide Web, HTML and other basic web tools emerged just as the BEV was being launched. This was critical infrastructure to the BEV, and directly facilitated the active appropriation of the network by the community. The appropriation of the BEV by the Blacksburg community was not merely an act of receiving permission or an invitation; it was not circumscribed in a meeting, or a series of workshops.