September 1996

Root Page of Article: What Does it Mean to be a Netizen?, by Amelia DeLoach

What is a Netizen?

According to Hauben, Netizens are the people who actively contribute online towards the development of the Net and discuss the nature and role of this new communications medium. They also understand the value of collective work and the communal aspects of public communications and promote the communal nature of the Net by:

  • actively discussing and debating topics in a constructive manner;
  • emailing answers to people and provide help to new-comers;
  • maintaining FAQ files and other public information repositories;
  • maintaining mailing lists.

Netizens are not just anyone who comes on-line, and they are especially not people who come on-line for isolated gain or profit. They are not people who come to the Net thinking it is a service. Rather they are people who understand it takes effort and action on each and everyone's part to make the Net a regenerative and vibrant community and resource. Netizens are people who decide to devote time and effort into making the Net, this new part of our world, a better place.

Lurkers are not Netizens, and vanity home pages are not the work of Netizens. While lurking or trivial home pages do not harm the Net, they do not contribute either.

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