Virtual communities and self-expression

Habbo screenshot
A populated room on Habbo. (Screenshot from Virtual Worlds For Teens)

Aside from providing a plethora of information, the Internet’s rise in popularity can also be credited to what it allowed users to do socially.

Communication with a far-away relative was made easy with e-mail, and meeting a new friend halfway across the world could be done from your own living room while browsing a forum. This advanced connectivity introduced a fascinating experience previously unavailable to the world and changed the way we interact. Beyond the typical e-mail and instant messaging programs, one thing that took online socialization to a new level was virtual world games. Continue reading “Virtual communities and self-expression”

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The freebooting debate: Keeping obscure legacies alive

Aaliyah One In A Million
Album cover of Aaliyah’s One In A Million (Photo from Wikipedia)

I recently read a Complex article explaining why Aaliyah’s music cannot be legally downloaded on the Internet. Often times for artists who do not make their music available online, typical reasons include issues with royalties, ethics, or quality. What makes the late R&B singer’s case so unique is how there appears to be a lack of motive behind it. The article goes on to question if as a result, illegally sharing her music on the Internet is one of the main things keeping Aaliyah’s legacy alive.

While Aaliyah is by no means an obscure musician, her situation falls similar to actual obscure artists. This raises a question of if illegal access online for not only obscure music, but any obscure media is a positive thing. Continue reading “The freebooting debate: Keeping obscure legacies alive”

Web Relic Showcase: GeoCities NorthPole

NorthPole community page
The NorthPole community page as displayed on Internet Archive

Neighbourhood name: NorthPole
Year created: 1996
Year abandoned: Unknown
URL: http://web.archive.org/web/19961221000658/http://www.geocities.com/NorthPole/

Before the elimination of GeoCities neighborhoods, homesteaders were given 41 different places to categorize their webpages, based on community and interests. In 1996, there were only 29 neighborhoods. For a short time in 1996, a temporary 30th neighborhood called “NorthPole” was created for the Christmas season. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: GeoCities NorthPole”