Call for Participation!

2 Conversations

What does it mean to own virtual space? Who has the right to determine

how a virtual space is used: is it those who developed it, those who use

it, or those who own the computers it runs on? And what does development

even mean in this context; is it raising the funds, doing the coding,

working out the bugs, developing content, or developing social and

cultural frameworks? Or is it all of these? These are the issues I'm

trying to explore in a Ph.D. paper tentatively titled 'Settlers of the

Virtual: Community, Territoriality and Ownership in Internet


When I first conceived this idea there was only one reason I thought

about and cared about these issues - my experiences on h2g2. Who can

remember the 'my home' versus 'my space' debates; the commercialisation

issue, about adding links to threads; the communitarian versus

guide researcher threads; the Zaphodista

movement; the FOOP; the move to the BBC and

somewhat stricter content guidelines? Moreover, who can forget them? These

and countless other moments have shaped our community and our perceptions

of it. I want to push some of these important reflections out into the

greater world, to let those who are working on policies and plans to

create or govern Internet spaces be privy to the particular insights the

h2g2 community has garnered through the very experience of being there in

the trenches.

So I'm putting out a call. This is a call for reflections, memories and

poignant moments in our collective history that you think contributed to

the ongoing h2g2 dialogue on ownership and community. This seems like a

good time for reflection - to pause and consider - as another new

iteration of the story that brought us together looms on the horizon. With

a new generation of virtual settlers perhaps paddling along in its


Post your

thoughts here!


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