Ana Viseu on Thu, 7 Oct 1999 02:13:47 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> virtual communities software

[The more e-commerce takes hold, the more the directionality of online
communication is being transformed. A two way communication medium is
being transformed into a powerful delivery channel and a weak "back
channel". Maybe this type of software does open new ways of talking back
(or across).]

A while ago a "Third Voice" ( software made its
market debut. This 'browser companion' allows anyone to place private or
public 'stickies' on any website. These notes can then be read by anyone
who has the software installed. The underlying assumption is that these
notes will create debate and discussion giving rise, therefore, to a sense
of community belonging. 

However, Third Voice does not allow real time discussion. It works more
like a newsgroup, where the user can regularly check what is being said. 

Hypernix's Gooey ( is another
software that "introduces the concept of Dynamic Roving Communities which
gives Netizens the opportunity to interact and communicate anywhere on the
Web, as a natural, integrated part of the surfing experience". This
software transforms any website into an agora, a place for debate and
discussion. It allows users to chat, and to see who else is surfing on
that particular website.

Besides the issues of privacy (who is surfing where right now), this can
be a powerful communication tool.

Keep your eye on the road. Technology is accelerating.

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