Internet-Based Neighborhood Information Systems: A Comparative Analysis

Internet-Based Neighborhood Information Systems: A Comparative Analysis

Danny Krouk (University of California, Los Angeles, USA), Bill Pitkin (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) and Neil Richman (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-69-8.ch013
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Abstract

This verse comes from a poem read by one of the key figures in the development of the Internet at a recent symposium held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first successful transmission of digital bits from one computer to another, which ushered in the era of computer networks (Kaplan, September 6, 1999). Perhaps not unexpectedly, participants in this commemorative event reflected on the rapid development of networking and what we today call the Internet and predicted its ubiquity in everyday life, likening it to electricity. Obviously, however, we are not quite there yet. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce suggest that, despite rapidly increasing rates of computer ownership and Internet access in the United States, there are still many people who have been left out of the information revolution. Researchers found that Internet access is highly correlated with income, education level and race, leading them to conclude: The information ‘haves’ have dramatically outpaced the information ‘have nots’ in their access to electronic services. As a result, the gap between these groups — the digital divide — has grown over time. (McConnaughey et al., 1999, p. 88)

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