This article, focusing on France, explores the notion of a “Web of professionals” and seeks to establish its factual, epistemological, and methodological implications for the history of the World Wide Web in the 1990s. This research reflects on the promises of the New Economy and the roles of the various controversies, cultures, imaginaries, and forms of mediation affecting the business world in its appropriation of the Web. It also aims to reappraise the individual and collective stakeholders whose active part has been somehow underestimated or obscured by the image of the mass Internet user. The professionalization of Web activities, the development of a new generation of entrepreneurs and the conversion of business models to online practices are all significant parts of the emergent Web culture in France, as well as factors contributing to this emergence.
Schafer, V., Thierry, B., “The “Web of pros” in the 1990s: The professional acclimation of the World Wide Web in France”, New Media & Society, April 27, 2016. doi:10.1177/1461444816643792