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U.S. ECONOMY > Technology > The Internet > Internet Communities Linking the World

Internet Communities Linking the World

International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

Global Issues

Internet Communities

An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State - November 2000 Volume 5, Number 3

From the Editors | Articles | Additional Resources | Masthead

(Download Adobe Acrobat version | zipped ASCII version)

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Human history has moved from the Stone Age to the Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age, and now the Information Age is upon us. In the past, the transition from one epoch to the next occurred slowly, unfolding over generations, but now the Information Age has shaken many societies like a sonic boom, sending sudden waves of change in all directions. A population explosion has occurred in cyberspace. Recent estimates indicate that more than 300 million people worldwide are using the Internet frequently, an online population that is 3,000 times the size it was just seven years ago. Information Technologies allow us to manage, process, and synthesize data in entirely new ways, but other more profound trends are also at work. The applications of advanced Information Technologies are as diverse as the many forms of human endeavor, and their impact is equally varied, creating new connections, inspiring new methods, and building new alliances. True to the natural architectural work after which it is named, the World Wide Web uses strands of data to weave a fabric of connections unimagined 10 years ago. Internet communities are created from this cloth, not defined by physical location, but rather by interest, intellectual activity, purpose, or concern. In this publication, we turn to specialists in a variety of disciplines to discover how Information Technologies are redefining traditional activities, and expanding old boundaries. Their observations are made with the realization that the Internet is rapidly transforming itself as users and innovators apply these technologies in ways we cannot yet foresee.

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E-Government: No Walls, No Clocks, No Doors
Federal, state, and local governments are giving citizens
new access to services through the Internet.
By William Peters and Charlene Porter

Education for the 21st Century:
Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning

The U.S. Department of Education has invested $4,000 million improving access to information technologies for schools and libraries across the country. The goal is to bridge the digital divide and raise youngsters who will become capable citizens of cyberspace.
By Linda Roberts, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education

The Internet as an Ever-Expanding Platform for Global Research
The Internet began as a tool for science. Today it is a forum for unprecedented international collaboration in research.
By Lori A. Perine, Deputy to the Associate Director, Technology, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Med Help International: Where There's a Doctor on the Web

Med Help International is a noncommercial Web site offering medical information and healthcare resources to millions of consumers worldwide each month.
An interview with Med Help Founders Cindy Thompson and Phil Garfinkel

Old Strategy and New Tactics Drive
Environmental Advocacy on the Internet

Internet communications have heightened the effectiveness of environmental groups in organizing to pursue their goals.
By Thomas Beierle, Research Fellow, Resources for the Future, a non-governmental research organization

Crafting the News in a Digital Age
The Internet gives journalists new tools to gather and disseminate information, and new means to reach their audience.
By Brad Kalbfeld, Deputy Director and Managing Editor, The Associated Press, Broadcast Division

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The State of the Internet 2000
The rise of Virtual Communities in cyberspace is described in this excerpt from a September 2000 global report on growth and use of the Internet.

The United States Internet Council Bibliography
Books, documents, and articles on information technologies. Selected Internet Resources
A list of Internet sites offering further information on the Internet and information technologies.

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An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State
Volume 5, Number 3, November 2000

The Office of International Information Programs of the U.S. Department of State publishes five electronic journals that examine major issues facing the United States and the international community. The journals -- Economic Perspectives, Global Issues, Issues of Democracy, U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, and U.S. Society and Values -- provide analysis, commentary, and background information in their respective thematic areas. All journal editions appear in English, French, and Spanish language versions, and selected issues also appear in Arabic, Russian, and Portuguese. A new English-language issue is published every three to six weeks. Translated versions normally follow the English original by two to four weeks. The order in which the thematic editions appear is irregular, as some editions publish more issues than others. The opinions expressed in the journals do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. government. The U.S. Department of State assumes no responsibility for the content and continued accessibility of Internet sites linked to herein; such responsibility resides solely with the publishers of those sites. Articles may be reproduced and translated outside the United States unless they carry copyright restrictions. Current or back issues of the journals can be found on the Office of International Information Programs International Home Page on the World Wide Web at They are available in several electronic formats to facilitate viewing on-line, transferring, downloading, and printing. Comments are welcome at your local U.S. Embassy (attention Public Affairs Section) or at the editorial offices:

Editor, Global Issues & Communications
Office of International Information Programs
U.S. Department of State
301 4th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20547
United States of America
E-mail: [email protected]

Publisher Judith S. Siegel; Editor William Peters; Managing Editor Charlene Porter; Text Editor Jim Fuller; Internet Editor Tim Brown; Associate Editors Carlos Aranaga, Jenifer Bochner, Wayne Hall, Ellen Toomey; Reference and Research Monica Mieroszewska, Joan Taylor; Art Director Chloe Ellis; Graphics Assistant Sylvia Scott; Editorial Board Howard Cincotta, Judith S. Siegel, Leonardo Williams

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