The Web has been with us for less than a decade. The popular and commercial diffusion of the Internet has been extraordinary - instigating and enabling changes in virtually every area of human activity and society. We have new systems of communication, new businesses, new media and sources of information, new forms of political and cultural expression, new forms of teaching and learning, and new communities. But how much do we know about the Internet - its history, its technology, its culture, and its uses? What are its implications for the business world and society at large? The diffusion has been so rapid that it has outpaced the capacity for well-grounded analysis. Soem say everything will change, others that little will change. Manuel Castells is widely regarded as the leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In addition to his academic work, he acts as adviser at the highest international levels. In this short, accessible, and informative book, he brings his experience and knowledge to bear on the Internet Galaxy. How did it all begin? What are the cultures that make up and contest the Internet?
How is it shaping the new business organization and re-shaping older business organizations? What are the realities of the digital divide? How has the Internet affected social and cultural organization, political participation and communication, and urban living? These are just some of the questions addressed in this much needed book. Castells avoids any predictions or prescriptions - there have been enough of those - but instead draws on an extraordinary range of detailed evidence and research to describe what is happening, and to help us understand how the Internet has become the medium of the new network society.