Jeff Jarvis maps out the four stages in our public evolution - culminating in the Internet age:
Rather than being forced into a public not of our own making, we now define ourselves and our publics. The new vision of the public may look chaotic, but then change always does. The critical difference todaythe next step in the evolution of the ideais that a public is no longer a one-way entity, flowing from the powerfulking, politician, publisher, or performerto an audience. Now through our conversation and collaboration, ignoring old boundaries, we define our publics.