NetAction Notes

Published by NetAction Issue No. 29 November 3, 1997
Repost where appropriate. See copyright information at end of message.


Neighborhoods in Cyberspace
Monitoring the Media
News from NetAction
About NetAction Notes


Neighborhoods in Cyberspace

Michael Nugent sees online communities as the key to sustainable Internet commerce, and he explores the evolution of cyberspace communities in LOCALS, a free weekly E-mail newsletter. LOCALS is published by Local Ireland. According to Nugent, who is chief executive of Local Ireland, everyone is a "local" somewhere, and as our communities establish a presence in cyberspace, we also become "locals" of these online communities.

Nugent started publishing LOCALS just three weeks ago, and the newsletter looks to be a promising source of information and commentary about the emerging world of online communities. Each issue is published as two separate E-mail messages, one featuring news from the growing number of online communities around the world, and reviews of books and other publications on the topic. The second part of the newsletter features editorials and opinion pieces by Nugent and guest writers.

LOCALS encourages readers to contribute articles, but requests that proposed features be under 500 words, book reviews under 200 words, and net visit reviews under 100 words. And, in contrast to most of the corporate-owned media, contributors retain copyright of their material.

Nugent also welcomes suggestions for future news, reviews, or features, and can be contacted by E-mail at: . To subscribe to LOCALS, send an E-mail message to: , with the word "subscribe" in the body of the message. It's also possible to subscribe from the Local Ireland Web site.

Monitoring the Media

If you think you're getting "news" when you watch the nightly news, pay a visit to News Watch. A project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University, the News Watch Project seeks to encourage dialog and debate about the media's coverage of communities of color and gays and lesbians. The goal is to promote fair and balanced coverage, and diversity, in news media.

News Watch encourages feedback, ideas, and suggestions. They also welcome submissions of examples of good and fair coverage, and poor and bad coverage, of communities of color, and gays and lesbians, or issues that affect these groups.

On the site now, News Watch discusses television anchors who use terms like "homicidal homosexual," explains how journalists missed the point in their coverage of the debate over an apology for slavery, and comments on a "cheerleader's" piece on CNN about INS efforts to prevent people from crossing the border to enter the U.S. Sections on cartoons and faux pas are still being constructed.

News from NetAction

I'm pleased to announce the appointment of Nathan Newman as Project Director for NetAction's Consumer Choice Campaign. Nathan joins NetAction today, and will be responsible for monitoring developments related to Microsoft's anti-competitive business practices, conducting research, drafting reports and articles for the Micro$oft Monitor, and expanding NetAction's grassroots outreach to Internet users.

Nathan has a long history of research and organizing for consumer and social justice movements. A co-director of the University of California Berkeley's Center for Community Economic Research from 1991-1996, he helped pioneer use of the Internet in support of grassroots organizing and education, receiving notice for his work in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, the Nation and C-SPAN.

Nathan is completing his doctoral work at UCB, where his research has focused on the emerging role of information technology in shaping the economic geography of regions. His writing on Internet commerce has appeared in MIT's Technology Review, State Tax Notes, and a range of community magazines. He is also an editor and columnist for E-NODE, an electronic newsletter on the social and economic implications of the Internet. He was a featured speaker at a conference sponsored by the Association of Bay Area Governments, and the annual conference of the California State Associations of Counties. He recently participated in a debate on THE WEB television show that explored the implications of taxation on Internet commerce.

About NetAction Notes

NetAction Notes is a free electronic newsletter, published by NetAction. NetAction is a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting use of the Internet for grassroots citizen action, and to educating the public, policy makers, and the media about technology policy issues.

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