The Co-evolution of Influence and Technology
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Chapter 8: Conclusion
The Internet is marching on, opening up a new paradigm of time and space – the e world. The most conspicuous demonstration of the potential power of the Internet over our economies and societies is evidenced by its sustained exponential growth. According to the Internet domain survey conducted by the Internet Software Consortium, over 233 million computers across the world were connected to the Internet in January 2004. This was more than double the number in July 2001 and was more than ten times the number in January 1994. Many authors stress that we are witnessing the second wave of the Internet revolution. For example, Wellman and Haythornthwaite (2002: 6) point out, ‘we are moving from a world of Internet wizards to a world of ordinary people routinely using the Internet as an embedded part of their lives’.1 Some others, such as Tapscott et al. (2000) and McKnight et al. (2001) claim that there will be no business without knowledge and expertise on the Internet and related technologies. Recognizing the powerful potential of the Internet to our societies, increasingly numerous scholars are investigating various socioeconomic implications of the Internet and related technological systems. Now Internet scholars from different disciplines have emerged to relate successes in the evolution of the Internet and the revolutionary socioeconomic changes that it is bringing about. Few of these scholars’ works, however, reveal the whole truth about the unprecedented success of the Internet and this is mainly because they have assumed that the Internet has triumphed because...
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