Wonderful piece over at Ideas Bazaar, picking up themes on this and other blogs – as well as The Economist – regarding, variously, coffee shops, the enlightenment, and social spaces [first iteration; second]. Their article goes further by linking them to thorough ethnographic research conducted amidst tea shops in Varanasi, north India.
"Be they category specific hangouts or more generalist penny (or rupee) universities the point is clear: tea and coffee shops act as access points to social information. They are, or were, joists in the information architecture of towns and cities. Rather like blogs online … Tea shops were where the news broke, but also where it ended up, being dissected issue by issue by the regulars at their tea shops. The newspapers in turn, refered to the tea shops as the charcha ka bazaar (the discussion markets), illustrating their pivotal place within the information architecture of the city. occasionally, what bloggers would refer to as a meme would emerge across the city and its conversation markets."
Which is interesting enough. But then:
"I’d suggest that the London coffee shops of the past, and the Indian tea shops of the present, offer those seeking to describe the present and future of the online and social software, a vital set of examples through which to advance their understanding."
Ideas Bazaar: Tea Shops, Blogs and the World Disclosed
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