The People’s Net

Zachariah James Watson

Douglas Rushkoff’s essay begins by stating just how much the Internet has become incredibly social, more alive, participatory, and engaging than ever before. He then goes on to discuss the statistics of how much time is spent on the Internet by the average user (20.2 hours in 2001, and 12.8 hours the year before according to data from Jupiter Media Metrix).  Now more than one-hundred million Americans now buy may of their goods and services online.

Rushkoff later goes on to state how investors, and analysts have both disconnected themselves from the business of the Internet along with those who have used the Internet as a profitable investment. Basically, the Internet has become a controversial landscape of business that has both attracted and repelled potential investors.

Rushkoff concludes his essay by pointing out that the Internet is more than capable of empowering those who have the capacity to embody it with transparency, participation, openness, and collaboration.

Discussion Questions:

1) How has the Internet become a major source of empowerment?

2) Why are people so divisive over the existence of the Internet?


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