Cultural Commons
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Cultural Commons

A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures

Edited by Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Massimo Marrelli and Walter Santagata

This compelling book offers a fresh and novel approach to study cultural and artistic expression from the perspective of ‘the commons’. It demonstrates how identifying cultures as shared resources is useful in eliciting the main factors and social dilemmas affecting the production and evolution of cultural expression.
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Chapter 10: The Role of Mediated Communities in Producing and Sharing Digital Cultures

Xavier Greffe


Xavier Greffe 1 INTRODUCTION Are mediated communities a cultural commons? Are they illustrating the relevance of commons in the field of cultural activities, such as the introduction to this book is suggesting? This hypothesis deserves to be analyzed. Mediated communities favor the joint production and consumption of relevant information in the presence of experience goods, such as music. In that sense mediated communities can be considered as a cultural common good. But is this approach much too comprehensive? There are many mediated communities, and it is then necessary to screen these alternative approaches. Today, nobody questions the importance of mediated communities. It is widely recognized that e-mail, blogs, forums, the internet and all the other possibilities opened up by Web 2.0, mobile phones, and so on, create links that bring together new communities which, by their very nature, rise above any kind of physical determinism. These communities do not exist potentially and cannot be considered a priori as belonging to any specific territory, race, sex, or religion, but they are there because of links formed in different directions (Greffe and Sonnac 2008). These communities develop a variety of activities that generally differ in nature: ● Some communities exchange digital information and content (Gensollen 2006). These are self-help communities where each member contributes files that are freely available to others from whom the contributor expects to get reactions sooner or later. A particular type of information becomes a collective or “common” good to the extent that all members can take advantage of...

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