A world of no boundaries

Popular culture resists the boundaries of definition. It can mean something different to every person.

It is mass media, entertainment and diversions.
It is heroes, icons, rituals, psychology and religion.
It is a way of life, the voice of a people.2

It doesn't have to do with the number of people involved, nor does it deal with quality. It is a lifesyle of a group of people, large or small.

The Internet makes that group incredibly large. Pop culture is no longer limited to one place. It now spans the globe. A television show that was braodcast in only America kept the culture group relatively small. But a Web site can reach anyone with computer access.
In the past, pop culture was spread through print, radio, movies or television. It now has penetrated this newest form of media, the Internet.

Maybe it has something to do with the way computers are set up. Monitors are almost the same size as the average television screen, so perhaps we process things we see on the computer screen in the same way we do those on television. 3

Or maybe it has to do with the ease of distribution. Popular culture is often distributed by the media, but more often than not, spreads through word-of-mouth, or in the Internet's case, word-of-email. A "hot" site can be forwarded or mentioned to hundreds of people with a simple mouse click. The Internet has made it easier than ever to move gossip and trends across the globe.

The following are some examples of Web sites that take the print, television and movie forms of pop culture into a new medium:

altculture link altculture - an online encyclopedia of popular culture
ampop link AMC's American Pop! - movies, Flash presentations, discussions and more that revolve around a monthly theme
flashback link Flash Back Now - choose the year of your birth and get a photo montage of pop culture from that year
retro link Retro - a magazine of popular 20th century culture

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This site, including all graphics, was created by Jennifer Falor. Any questions or comments should be mailed to © Jennifer Falor 2001.