¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 While ‘cyberspace’ seems to imply some kind of ‘there’, the term is somewhat misleading. The digital domain is unlike the perception of space that occurs in the physical world. It allows a kind of perception of the ‘space-time continuum’ through its subversion of the traditional markers of space and time. Nguyen and Alexander employ the notion of their inseparability in the term ‘cyberspacetime’ to illustrate how “when we immerse ourselves in cyberspacetime, physical limitations or boundaries disappear.” [Nguyen & Alexander 1996: 102] Travel in electronic networks is a near instantaneous linkage with the site one wants to visit. Getting ‘to’ Usenet is merely a question of executing the appropriate commands to start the newsreading program running. Anyone can access the newsgroups that Usenet supports; there is no limit on public access to these groups once the participant has decided to enter. On Usenet, “people connect because of shared interests, not physical location. Any number can play.” [op. cit: 1996: 105]
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The Usenet newsgroup rec.juggling provides an example of this phenomenon. Its members use it as a forum to hold discussions and exchange information. The membership is drawn from a number of countries, though the majority of participants are in the United States. Performing jugglers are a highly mobile group, whether travelling with a circus, in smaller companies or individually. Anderson notes that “the ones forging new social spaces – one hesitates to say ‘institutions’ – are the denizens of the diaspora.” [Anderson 1995: 15] Jugglers would seem to be a distributed community of a similar nature to a diaspora. It is an uncommon activity, and even in cities it may not be easy to find other jugglers, whether one is a performer or a hobbyist. As one member of rec.juggling explained:
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0
The problem for me was that I was juggling in a vacuum for a year. I knew no other jugglers. I met no other jugglers. I'd never heard of the IJA. And NY has a *thriving* juggling community. Probably one of the best and most active clubs in the country with an average of 30 members on a regular night. But finding them was not easy. Brian Dube, prop maker extraordinaire, is not listed on the Yellow Pages.
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 This seems to turn into a "me too" thread - 'cause I have been a solitary juggler for the last 20 years at least. Only 2 days ago did I learn about rec.juggling. A whole new world opened up.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 One of the reasons for my long solitude must be the fact that I am living in Switzerland. People seem to "keep to themselves" more. But having read many of the (600+) postings in the newsgroup I decided to find others like me. I already got in touch with somebody local who offers advanced lessons and I will not walk by another juggler in the street without starting a conversation.
¶ 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 The subversion of space on Usenet allows people to connect regardless of geography. The latter posting, in referring to rec.juggling as a ‘world’ confirms Nguyen and Alexander’s observation of the linkage of space through shared interests. On Usenet, the geography of public space is determined by values, not by distance. Shared by the nomadic juggling diaspora, “the TAZ is a nomad camp, [and] the Web helps provide the epics, songs, genealogies and legends of the tribe.” [Bey 1991: 110]