October 2001 Margaret McLaughlin and Sheizaf Rafaeli, Editors
Which banks are making a success of on-line banking, and why? How does time spent in virtual space
affect our view of "real" space? Does the Internet meet the information needs of the blind and visually impaired?
How do online newsgroups resolve the "moral panic" produced by anxiety-arousing postings? What are the
barriers to civil public discourse on the Net?
On-line banking adoption is due
to a combination of demand ("pull") and firm ("push") factors. This paper presents an appraisal
of the determinants of on-line customer penetration for a sample of the major banks in Western Europe.
The authors examine the way in which the constructs of place and space are being reshaped as individuals and groups
are increasingly compelled to spend time within cyberspace
The authors present findings about the current ways in
which people who are blind and visually impaired find information for their everyday lives, the
role of the Internet in this process and barriers to using computers and the Internet.
Although moral panics are generally played out in the public eye, engineered by high-profile politicians or
social commentators in the media, everyone has the potential to ignite or contribute towards moral panics,
even people who post to Usenet.
Factors limiting the expansion of the public sphere online
include the increasing colonization of cyberspace by state and corporate interests, a
deficit of reflexivity, a lack of respectful listening, the difficulty of verifying
identity and information,
and the domination of discourse by certain individuals and groups.
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