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The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded: Dissent in the digital age

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January 3, 2009 by Tara Brabazon

The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded

The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded: Dissent in the digital age
Edited by Tara Brabazon and written by members of the Popular Culture Collective
Oxford: Chandos, 2008
ISBN: 9781843344599

This book attacks the often implicit and damaging assumption that ‘everyone’ is online and that ‘everyone’ is using online resources within the specified parameters of employers, government and national laws. Put another way, this book summons a critical Web Studies, asking not only who is using particular applications, but also how and why. This remedial work is required.

The concept and label of ‘Web 2.0’ is part of a wide-ranging suite of assumptions that offer simple answers to difficult questions. The term captures a desire for online collaboration and the sharing of information, performed most visibly through blogs, podcasts and wikis. Other ‘products’ that capture the Web 2.0 ideology include Google Maps, Facebook, MySpace and Flickr. Within this framework, websites no long hold information but become a platform to connect applications with users. The business applications have gained the most attention - particularly content syndication — but there are also ‘political’ initiatives overlaying this project including open communication, the sharing of data and the deeplinking of web architecture.

Web 2.0 is not only buzzword, but — pivotally for The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded — increases the online opportunities and applications for those already online while ignoring those still excluded from Web 1.0. This book reveals not only who is using particular online platforms, but the costs to citizenship and democracy through that social profile.

Key features

  • Development of innovative concepts and models to manage the digital divide
  • Evocative studies of the digitally excluded and downloading communities.
  • Attention to digital literacy and online education
  • Demonstration of how commerce, news, music and inter-personal relationships are transformed through digitization

The combination of tracking the digital divide and activating digital dissent makes the book unique in Web 2.0 research. Instead of celebrating Facebook, YouTube and MySpace, there is careful attention to those groups still excluded by Web 1.0. For practitioners, policy makers, teachers, librarians and information professionals, there are methods offered that align theories of teaching and information management with the practice of changing policy. Through such an aim, the book stands alone, and is international in scope and inflection.


  • Introduction
  • Passing the digital door bitch
  • Part One: Scanning the silences
    • Access denied
    • Restless redundancy
    • Wiring God’s waiting room: the greying of web literacy
    • Cash for corporeality: international students and the wealth of transgression
    • Cultware
  • Part Two: Downloading harmony
    • He who pays the piper must call the tune?
    • The ultimate mix: try before you buy
    • Record companies vs technology
  • Part Three: Uploading identity
    • Putting their life on(the)line: youth and blogging identity
    • Is it all bad? Japanese suicide culture
    • Traveller’s weblogs: why blog?
    • eBay: marketing the real body in the virtual world
    • Cyber sluts: the new Victorians
    • The I in community: it’s all about ME in gaydar’s global gay diaspora
  • Part Four: Packet switching resistance and terrorism
    • Information at the speed of thought
    • Keeping an eye on Big Brother
    • Speed kills: terrorism on the internet
  • Conclusion — what do you do with the other one in a duo?

This book can be purchased from,

Please click here for photographs from the launch at University House, at the University of Western Australia, Perth.