Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Arc and the MachineNarrative and New Media$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Caroline Bassett

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073427

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073427.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Annihilating all that's made? Legends of virtual community

Annihilating all that's made? Legends of virtual community

(p.128) 4 Annihilating all that's made? Legends of virtual community
The Arc and the Machine

Caroline Bassett

Manchester University Press

The chapter explores a virtual community as a history of a particular kind of space, one that is made of words and to a far lesser extent images, but that is more fundamentally to be understood as carved out of code. The opening section draws on Lefebvre to explore virtual space as a social production. It then turns to the Internet itself, reading its history, and within that the history of virtual community, as the history of space. It is argued that virtual community is synecdochal for the early Internet and its values, and that these values continue to attach to virtual communities even while discrete productions of community increasingly fail to instantiate them. The third section focuses on the spatial production of GeoCities, which is also understood in narrative terms. It draws out what the sense of virtual community operational in GeoCities takes from earlier models and how the phrase itself might operate as an ideologeme. This may demonstrate the degree to which processes of contradictory integration mean that ‘virtual community’ has been at once valorized and remade. If the new commercial model of GeoCities is operationalized partly through its appeal to ‘virtual community’, read as a guarantor of the persistence of human communion within an increasingly automated world, this also tends to mask the underlying logic of the Cities, which concerns the production of narrative space as a commodity.

Keywords:   virtual community, Lefebvre, social production, Internet, GeoCities, space

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.