Ray Oldenburg's notion

. . . of the "third place"

As many people have pointed out, to MOO is to contribute to the construction of what Ray Oldenburg calls "the third place" so essential to human life. The first place is where we live; the second place is where we work. And
Third places exist on neutral ground and serve to level their guests to a condition of social equality. Within these places, conversation is the primary activity and the major vehicle for the display and appreciation of human personality and individuality. Third places are taken for granted and most have a low profile. Since the formal institutions of society make stronger claims upon the individual, third places are normally open in the off hours, as well as at other times. The character of a third place is determined most of all by its regular clientele and is marked by a playful mood, which contrasts with people's more serious involvement in other spheres. Though a radically different kind of setting for a home, the third place is remarkably similar to a good home in the psychological comfort and support that it extends. (86)

The Tuesday Cafe

Community gets built there, but indirectly, as a result of the larger process of socializing and constructing shared experience.

Some people posit that these third places are essential for a democracy and for the rich personal lives of its citizenry. Some people claim that the real revolutionary difference that the Internet makes is in its role as a third place.

Introduction to the Tuesday Cafe.
What is the Tuesday Cafe?
What are some of the benefits offered by this kind of community?
What are some of the disadvantages of MOO discussions?
How do people get to the Cafe?

Last updated: 10 June 1996. Questions and comments? Please e-mail Sharon Cogdill at scogdill@tigger.stcloud.msus.edu.