This study examines the dynamics of critical Internet culture after the medium opened to a broader audience in the mid 1990s. It is Geert Lovink’s PhD thesis, submitted late 2002, written in between his two books on the same topic: Dark Fiber (2002) and My First Recession (2003).

The core of the research consists of four case studies of non-profit networks: the Amsterdam community provider, The Digital City (DDS); the early years of the nettime mailinglist community; a history of the European new media arts network Syndicate; and an analysis of the streaming media network Xchange. The research describes the search for sustainable community network models in a climate of hyper growth and increased tensions and conflict concerning moderation and ownership of online communities.

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