The Internet as Third Place

Ray Oldenburg is an urban sociologist who writes about the importance of informal public gathering places. In his book The Great Good Place, Oldenburg demonstrates why these gathering places are essential to community and public life. He argues that bars, coffee shops, general stores, and other “third places” (in contrast to the first and second places of home and work), are central to local democracy and community vitality.

By exploring how these places work and what roles they serve, Oldenburg offers a compelling argument for these settings of informal public life as essential for the health both of our communities and ourselves. read more