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Web 25

Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web


Edited By Niels Brügger

Web 25: Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Web. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Web has played an important role in the development of the Internet as well as in the development of most societies at large, from its early grey and blue webpages introducing the hyperlink for a wider public, to today’s multifacted uses of the Web as an integrated part of our daily lives.

This is the first book to look back at 25 years of Web evolution, and it tells some of the histories about how the Web was born and has developed. It takes the reader on an exciting time travel journey to learn more about the prehistory of the hyperlink, the birth of the Web, the spread of the early Web, and the Web’s introduction to the general public in mainstream media. Furthermore, case studies of blogs, literature, and traditional media going online are presented alongside methodological reflections on how the past Web can be studied, as well as accounts of how one of the most important source types of our time is provided, namely the archived Web.

Web 25: Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web is a must-read
for anyone interested in how our online present has been shaped by the past.

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Chapter Six: Blogs as cultural products: A multidimensional approach to their diffusion in Italy (2001–2008) (Elisabetta Locatelli)


chapter six

Blogs as cultural products

A multidimensional approach to their diffusion in Italy (2001–2008)

Elisabetta Locatelli

The chapter investigates the early years of blogs diffusion1 in Italy (2001–2008)2 considering them as cultural products (Colombo, 2003; Griswold, 1994). It will investigate the phenomenon applying an original approach aimed at examining how blogs’ technological, cultural, economic, and institutional dimension changed over time. It will show both the continuity between the origins of blogging in the USA and the peculiarities of Italian blogosphere, which are to be observed from their very inception, such as the adoption of blogging like an online diary or the creation of online and offline micro-communities.

Theoretical framework: the cultural product

Following Hine (2000), the internet can be intended both as culture and as a cultural artefact. Considering the internet as a culture means to conceive it as a “place, cyberspace, where culture is formed and reformed” (Hine, 2000, p. 9), whereas, considering it as a cultural artefact means seeing it as a “product of culture”—a technology that is used by different social groups, “with contextually situated goals and priorities. It is also a technology which is shaped by the ways in which it is marketed, taught and used” (Hine, 2000, p. 9).

The same dynamics can be applied to blogs. On the one hand, they have developed a new culture and altered the present one; on the other hand,...

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