Ronda Hauben on Thu, 28 Jun 2001 23:11:31 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] A sad loss

I am writing about the sudden death on June 27, 2001 of 
Michael Hauben.  Michael Hauben was co-author of the book "Netizens: 
On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet" published in 
an English and Japanese edition and also available online.

Through his interactive online research Michael coined the term
"Netizen" and introduced it into popular use. 

In his 1992 article "The Net and Netizens: The Impact the Net Has
on People's Lives" Michael wrote "Welcome to the 21st Century.
You are a Netizen (a Net Citizen), and you exist as a citizen of
the world thanks to the global connectivity that the Net makes 
possible. You consider everyone as your compatriot. You physically
live in one country but you are in contact with much of the world
via the global computer network. Virtually, you live next door 
to every other single Netizen in the world. Geographical separation 
is replaced by existence in the same virtual space."

Through Michael's writing online the term spread around the world.

In the Preface to Netizens, Michael wrote 

"     My initial research concerned the origins and development of the
global discussion forum Usenet....I wanted to explore
the larger Net and what it was and its significance. This is when my
research uncovered the remaining details that helped me to recognize the
emergence of Netizens. There are people online who actively contribute
towards the development of the Net. These people understand the
value of collective work and the communal aspects of public
communications. These are the people who discuss and debate topics in
a constructive manner, who e-mail answers to people and provide
help to new-comers, who maintain FAQ files and other public information
repositories, who maintain mailing lists, and so on.  These are
people who discuss the nature and role of this new communications
medium. These are the people who act as citizens of the Net."

He has been an active member of the online community since the early 

When she learned of Michael's death, Laura Gould, one of the founding
member of the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility wrote
"I so regret the death of the original Netizen."

"Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet"
was published by the IEEE Computer Society in 1997 and also appears
in an online edition at



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