Cookies, Gift-Giving, and the Internet
First Monday


Cookies, Gift-Giving, and the Internet

This paper arose from a question: why are there so many connections between cookies and the Internet? We describe some of these connections. Cookies appear in contexts that have to do with giving and sharing. We explore the larger social context of cookies as food, as a gift for children, and as a symbol of sharing, and also the relationship between women and giving. There turns out to be a connection between the Internet gift economy, the U.S. tradition of giving cookies as a present, and the future of the Internet. We describe this connection and its implication for Internet strategies.

Contents

Introduction
The Internet Gift Economy
Examples of Cookies on the Internet
Analysis
Implications for Internet Business Strategies
Conclusion

Introduction

All of us involved in the Internet in some way have come across the idea of Web cookies, and wondered about where this term comes from and what significance it holds. First, they remind us of sweet biscuits and childhood. Now, in this electronic context, they seem dangerous, invading and annoying [1]. These are the most obvious remarks, but surprises came up when we were working on other research, namely about politeness phenomena in Internet Relay Chat conversations [2]. On two separate occasions (and it wouldn't be surprising if this happens more often) cookies were discursive objects that were distributed around to the whole group as tokens of kindness and unity. Giving in chat seemed like a child's game of make believe in which he invites his friends to partake in a little tea party (with their little fingers raised as they "sip" from delicate cups). The double meaning and complexity of the term associated with the gesture of giving became more and more apparent as we looked into further associations on the Internet and in real life. This lead us to a deeper investigation on the use and meaning of cookies, whether on the Internet or in the "real life" social world that shapes us and our online participation.

The Internet Gift Economy

As Rishab Aiyer Ghosh and Richard Barbrook described in papers in earlier issues of First Monday [3], the Internet operates as a gift economy. Individual Internet users donate content for other Internet users to use free of charge. In return, each individual receives access to all the content made available by others. The amount an individual receives is much more than they could ever produce, so the gift economy works in the interest of Internet users. It also facilitates the cooperative production of free high-quality software and other digital content.

Ghosh and Barbrook note that the assumption that information will be shared for free is built into the technological design of the Internet. We will show in this paper that it is also reflected in the metaphors chosen by those who build and use Internet technology.

Examples of Cookies on the Internet

Magic cookies

"Magic cookie" is a common term in Unix and other programming for a handle given to a piece of information shared between cooperating programs. The entry for "magic cookie" in The New Hacker's Dictionary [4] defines it as "something passed between routines or programs that enables the receiver to perform some operation; a capability ticket or opaque identifier."

GNU emacs

Perhaps the most famous item of shareware is the GNU emacs text editing program. This is available as part of the Linux operating system, or can be downloaded separately. When you download the files for GNU emacs, as well as the text editor you get a cookie recipe.

This is not the only reference to cookies in GNU emacs: the documentation for the HTML-helper-mode in emacs uses the name "cookies" for HTML tags. HTML-helper-mode was programmed by Nelson Minar, who says [5] that he does not remember why he chose the term "cookie", but it was probably derived from the "magic cookie" meaning.

Shareware is the Internet gift economy for software. Shareware software is produced by volunteers and made available to all for free.

The Cookie Monster virus

The cookie monster is a character on the U.S. children's television program "Sesame Street". It is a cuddly-looking monster that lives in a cookie jar. It says "I WANT COOKIE, GIVE ME COOKIE, I WANT COOKIE" and continues until you give it a cookie. One of the early computer viruses was the Cookie Monster virus. This did not destroy data, but continually printed out I WANT COOKIE, GIVE ME COOKIE on the screen of the infected computer. If you typed in "cookie" (or, in some versions, "chocolate chip") it stopped [4].

Web cookies

Web cookies are identifiers which let a Web server know that you are the same person that accessed the server the last time you accessed it. This makes an extended interaction possible. This is an instance of a "magic cookie" and is the most common reference to cookies on the Web. The cookie is given from the server to the browser (if the browser has been programmed to accept it) when the Web page is accessed, and is given back to the server at the next visit.

There is nothing sinister about Web cookies per se, but Web cookies have acquired a negative reputation as a result of some uses that have been made of them. Some companies (for example doubleclick.net) use Web cookies and registration forms to keep track of users' behavior on the Web. Sometimes this information is used for advertising and direct marketing purposes [6].

Clifford Stoll's cookies

For no apparent reason, Clifford Stoll includes his cookie recipe on page 152 of his best-selling book on Internet security, The Cuckoo's Egg [7]. A footnote in a later book by Clifford Stoll, entitled Silicon Snake Oil, includes a recipe for simulated carbonaceous chondrites (in plain English, meteorites). The recipe calls for brown and white sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, cocoa, flour, baking powder, and "white chocolate-chip chondrules" (p. 87).

Kindergarten

The following advice by the Unitarian minister Robert Fulghum [8] is quoted on over a hundred Web sites and mentioned on many more. There are minor variations in the quoted versions, but all mention cookies.

"All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned.

Share everything; Play fair; Don't hit people; Put things back where you found them; Clean up your own mess; Don't take things that aren't yours; Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody; Wash your hands before you eat; Flush; Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you; Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some."

Although the advice is quite wide, it is notable that the first rule is "Share everything".

Fortune cookies

The fortune cookie program was an early, and popular, Unix utility. There was a shared fortune cookie file of quotes, jokes, epigrams and pithy sayings. Anyone with remote access to the file server could type "fortune" and one of the fortunes would be chosen at random and printed on their screen. The fortune file was shared not only in its distribution, but also in its creation. Anyone could submit a fortune to add to the fortune file.

The name is a reference to the fortune cookies which are given at the end of a meal in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. Inside the cookie there is a strip of paper on which there is printed an epigram or piece of advice. Fortune cookies are not paid for explicitly on the bill - their cost is absorbed in the cover charge if there is one.

Virtual cookies

The Virtual Cookies site [9] enables Internet users to send pictures of cookies over the Internet to their family and friends. The site says:

"Virtual Cookies are now the easiest way to say "Happy Birthday," Thank You," or even just "I'm thinking about you" to someone special!"

Internet recipe collections

Recipes are abundant on Internet bulletin boards. The Yahoo.com directory lists 702 recipe sites on the World Wide Web, nine of which are exclusively for cookie recipes. The CookieRecipe.com site has "Over 1,800 cookie recipes last time we checked", donated by visitors to the site.

The Expensive cookie recipe

Urban legends are stories that are probably untrue but which strike such a chord with their listeners that their listeners spread them to others. Since Internet communications provide cheap and fast ways of spreading stories to many people, they form an efficient medium for urban legends. The story of the expensive cookie recipe [10] is a famous Internet urban legend, propagated via e-mail and bulletin boards.

In the story, a woman visiting a café with her daughter eats a cookie and asks for the cookie recipe. The waitress tells her that it will cost "two fifty" and she asks the waitress to add the price to the tab. She discovers later that the cost is $250. She asks them to take back the recipe and reduce the bill,

"and they said they were sorry, but all the recipes were this expensive so not just everyone could duplicate any of their bakery recipes ... the bill would stand.

As revenge, she decides to make sure that every cookie lover has a free copy of the $250 recipe.

So, here it is, and please pass it to someone else or run a few copies ... I paid for it; now you can have it for free."

Analysis

As we have seen from the above examples, the metaphor of cookies is pervasive throughout the Internet. It is used in a variety of contexts that are interrelated, but yet lack cohesion. This section will attempt to expose some of the underlying similarities between these examples and discuss their significance in the larger social context.

To begin with, it is difficult to arrive at a firm definition concerning the world cookies for all we have is the result of the word in context and not a clear idea of the process of how the word was chosen. To draw semiotic conclusions about this word we must first recognize that it is a sign, a marker, which is attributed a certain value in a certain context (in English, for example). Like all signs, there is no single definition or significance. Over time this sign evolves and takes on differing meanings in different contexts. As such, we are constantly re-contextualizing and interpreting, verifying the meaning we have attributed to the thing.

In our vocabulary we have many different descriptions of cookies, like the different recipes for cookies that circulate in the Internet (although the chocolate chip is probably the quintessential cookie in our study).

First, we think about cookies as a kind of food. On the Internet there are also other food-related metaphors such as Java script which is associated to coffee (and drinking coffee late into the night or meeting friends for a coffee at a café or at someone's house). Similarly, the term Applets, small Java applications, seems to mean "small apples", and is now included by a process of folk etymology as an example of a food metaphor [11]. Apple Computer uses Macintosh to refer to a kind of computer, but "McIntosh" is also a variety of apple.

Cookies as discrete units

Cookies are individual little gifts. They are integral units, so that in receiving a cookie we are getting individual treatment, not just part of a cake. Similarly, one cannot estimate the percentage of the batch that a cookie contains, so one cannot estimate its particular "price". Nor can we see the missing part when one cookie is taken from the cookie jar (whereas it is painfully obvious if someone steals a piece of a cake before the party). In addition, except when cookies are subjected to market logic, like buying baskets of cookies, they are rarely counted or quantified, so the gift seems to be infinite. In the idyllic house in Leave it to Beaver (an American television show from the 1950's) there is a never-ending supply of cookies in the cookie jar for when the kids get home from school.

Americans, perhaps, have a special relationship to this individualism, a feeling that each cookie is potentially unique though it may come from the same batter (there may be more chocolate chips in this one, or it may be slightly undercooked and chewy compared to the others). Likewise, cookies are not messy and do not require cutting, plates or forks, only napkins. The recipient of a cookie also never has to touch the food of another if he gets a cookie. His piece never has the same close contact with the rest of the batch (like slices of a cake or pie) except in its conception. Nor does giving cookies involve the same effort as giving a whole cake, so the necessity to reciprocate in like manner does not become unbalanced as the gift does not overextend the giver and oblige an expensive counter-gift.

It is only recently that we associate the term cookies to morsels of data. But, with these former definitions in mind, it can be understood that they are individual packets which have various functions that can be subjectively manipulated. The origins of the word get lost in the folklorisation of the terminology and its social significance.

Let us then begin the analysis by dividing the examples into pertinent categories which form a kind of continuum from the computer/Web cookie definition to the metaphoric/symbolic nature of cookie giving.

The Childlike spirit in cookie terminology

Many of the computer-oriented definitions of "cookie" developed in the early history of the Internet, when the programming community was quite small. This close knit and relatively homogeneous group created the environment in which Unix fortune and magic cookies, Magiccookie.com, HTML Helper tags and the Cookie Monster virus could be understood and thrive.

From these examples there was a childlike spirit in integrating "cookie" into computer science terminology. Many feel that this terminology derives from a practical joke that has now taken on larger proportions, like the Cookie Monster virus (essentially harmless and even a bit silly). On his home page Ari Halberstadt, owner of the magiccookie.com domain, says that the word is a whimsical term for a number (or tag) used to identify something in a piece of code but with no intrinsic value. Indeed, in and of themselves, Web cookies are harmless pieces of data transferred from your computer to the Web page leaving a trail of cookie crumbs or information, like Hansel and Gretel (see Dan Loehr's comments in [11]).

But, on the reverse side of the coin, cookies can be used to limit the privacy and the mobility of Web users. Like the horrific visions of a corporate Big Brother, some companies have been using cookies to create user profiles. These profiles assist in targeting online advertising to specific audiences and assist in general marketing studies. To fight these sorts of uses of cookie data, there now exist cookie-monitoring and cookie-refusing software [6].

Sharing cookies

Recalling the childlike expression and ambience of certain Internet practices, we see that cookies and their recipes are an important means of gift giving and sharing. Note that the emacs shareware came with a seemingly unrelated cookie recipe or that Clifford Stoll found it pertinent (and perhaps generous) to include cookie recipes in his books.

Surfing the Internet, we can also find a multitude of various cookie recipes free of charge, and many sites focus around recipe exchanges. One can also send cookies (virtual and real) around the globe by using the Internet. So, people are actively involved in sharing cookies. This behaviour seems to be natural to us, something that we have been socialized to do since at least since kindergarten (as Robert Fulghum pointed out) [8].

In this line, the Scouts monopolize this vision of cookies. There is a U.S. tradition of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides selling cookies once a year - more than two million Girl Scouts in the U.S. take part in cookie sales [12]. To support the Scouts, people buy boxes of their cookies, not necessarily because they want these types of cookies (though the chocolate mint cookies are definitely worth buying all year round) but principally because it supports the budget of the Scout troop, permitting youngsters to gain experience in a variety of areas. Good scouts are the ones that sell the most cookies, and troops are rewarded for their salesmanship. By buying these cookies, the public is also performing an act of charity.

The Hau of Cookies

In his descriptions on the gift-giving rituals of primitive peoples, Marcel Mauss mentions the Maori belief in the Hau, or spirit, of something given. This hau is circulated as the gift and its intentions are exchanged between the multiple participants of the gift cycle. The hau is used to generate the gift giving cycle and manifests itself as a kind of positive magic force. For the Maori, it is the vital force, the wind that breathes life and the source of growth and maturation when they give to the forest or other peoples. It is the force which in turn generates a reciprocal gift. Claude Levi-Strauss adds that it is possible to postulate that the hau is coextensive in generalized giving ([13] p.187). The hau does not represent a product of an economic value, but its use favors a link or a relation to community and well being. In its circulation, the gift enriches the link and transforms the protagonists into those which share in a community cycle.

Cookies then must also have a hau which could be that they are "good for you" (with cold milk especially). They supply some sort of spiritual and corporal nourishment. People want to pass this on to their friends and family, and extended network of friends on the Internet. They serve as tiny drops of glue to forge community spirit among millions of strangers on the Internet.

Symbolic sustenance

In line with this proposition, giving things on the Internet often implies giving food or drink, different kinds of sustenance. Thus, in the IRC Bar channel (among other channels), people give each other cocktails or they pass out beers. Cookies are another form of sustenance. But, like the computer-related definition of "cookies", there is no intrinsic nutritional value in cookies. They are given as symbolic sustenance, fillers and snacks to hold us over with a smile until the real meal comes.

Another property of cookies is that they are small enough to be given as presents between meals without spoiling a child's appetite (although some American firms sell enormous cookies which are enough to spoil anyone's appetite). They are designed to be ready to be given and eaten at once whenever there is occasion for it, rather than being confined to mealtimes. This makes them the perfect instant-gratification gift.

Giving via Internet is often immaterial, like sending virtual flowers (or virtual cookies), or electronic postcards. It is often make-believe and replicates the social practices that we believe we should have. Thus, like children in a make-believe tea party, we demonstrate our kindly behavior towards our fellow man, even if (and perhaps especially because) it doesn't cost us any measurable amount of time, money or effort. Indeed, it is a collection of these small actions that make up what we know as the Internet gift economy.

In-Group politeness

By an extension of politeness strategies in interaction, as described by Brown and Levison [14], a practical joke, like the Cookie Monster virus, could also be considered a gift, intended for a particular "in-group" audience, like the equivalent of a surprise birthday party for a large scale group of friends. The author of the joke designs it to be funny or effective for the person or people subjected to it (e.g. other programmers or scientists). Since the author knows his audience he attempts to fulfill certain of the recipient's wants, such as the desire to be recognized as an "in" member. So, if the joke is well targeted, only the intended receiver will find that it is funny, thus creating and reaffirming a greater bond between the author and his audience, despite the temporary annoyance that this virus originally provoked.

Women and giving

We now come to the most complex of our analytic findings, the special relationship between women and giving. Women give not only sustenance to their dependents, but they give life itself. Traditionally, they are given in marriage, they give of themselves making love, they give birth.

True, the early Internet programmers were not generally women, so it is all the more curious that there are so many references to cookies on the Internet. These programmers may have associated the giving of cookies with memories they had of their home environment or of their grandmothers and mothers. As Godbout writes, "At the center of the domestic sphere, we find women. Women have always been symbols of giving. In Greek mythology the three graces are women who give knowledge and art. Similarly, the first woman was called Pandora, a name which signifies 'she who gives all' (pan, doron = gift) or 'all gifted'." Here also, we are struck by the double nature of the gift, like the Web cookie.

In essence, the logic of a woman's role in giving is contradictory to capitalist/market logic. They do not give to receive nor to earn in the cycle described by Mauss as the obligation to give, to receive and to reciprocate. They break this chain and give freely to their children and to others with no thought of reciprocity [13]. All of these forms of the circulation of goods and services between strangers function outside of the market and without borrowing or taking up the state organized model of redistribution.

Archetype of a cookie baker

For this research we asked some people to uncover the associations they make with baking cookies and cookie bakers. The composite image of their ideas on cookies reveals a middle aged or older, plumpish housewife who bakes cookies to share with her children or to give to a charity or church function. She also shares in the baking itself (in a teaching endeavor) with her children. This is the socialization process towards symbolic generosity with information (and patience). Our interviewees' testimonies show an archetype of a traditional woman, the rounded mother of abundance who gives graciously to her children, who does not deprive them of their wants (nor does she discipline them). She is the modern Ceres with the cornucopia.

Cookies and Mom

Likewise, many of the cookie recipes found on the Internet are called "grandma's favorite' or seem to be feminine descendent heirlooms. This folklore is substantiated further by certain brand names like Mrs. Field's cookies. Additionally, one can order baskets of cookies off the Internet and send them, like flowers, to loved ones and friends. The marketing strategy of one such company for Mothers' Day was to suggest that their customers "return the favor" for all the cookies Mom had baked for them as a child [15]. In a previous study of IRC interaction [1], several instances of cookie giving were found in which female-presenting characters distributed imaginary cookies to the others in the chat room. In one case, the character (Rachael) distributes homemade cookies that her own mother had sent her for Easter. There is a maternal quality in giving these cookies that serves to create a bond between the giver (mother) and the recipient (child) [16].

Cookie exchange

In another fine example of cookies as symbols in the Gift Economy, at Christmastime (another moment especially charged with the idea of gift giving) in some neighborhoods, women bake dozens of cookies and trade them with their friends so that each has a variety of home-baked cookies to offer to guests. This is something like a modern sewing bee, and reduces the number of hours spent in the kitchen for these women because each only bakes one type of cookie, but then each ends up with a huge variety once all are traded. Here we can draw parallels to scientific research where each laboratory refines its study, but then the results are made available to the community to contribute to the general knowledge base.

Learning from the modern legend

Cookies on the Internet act as a modern legend. In many of our inquiries about where the terminology came from, our correspondent said that they did not know, but then continued with, "It might be from..." or "I heard that it comes from..." These are prefaces for oral history and the making of modern legends, passing down hearsay information from person to person. It them becomes transformed, taking on a meta-language and significance of its own.

The story of the expensive cookie recipe also links this folklore to women, because the woman, who was sharing a nice time with her daughter (not building and constructing as a father/son pair might do), decides that she will take revenge on the capitalist system by giving, countering the market logic with the Gift Economy. This Internet legend becomes a parable to demonstrate what qualities are unacceptable (overpricing and hard sell capitalism) or acceptable (giving, generosity) to Net users as well as the action to take when confronted by the unacceptable force of aggressive capitalism on the Internet. That is, you can beat capitalism by sharing freely.

So, cookie giving becomes a unifying device because we learn to share the resources that we have. All of the examples above seem to demonstrate that cookie-giving is a quality that every one of us Internet users should develop and nurture. Finally, cookies may summarize succinctly a very American ethic which is so prevalent in the world of the Internet: a curious mixture of Christian values, individualism, endless/innumerable bounty, strict socialization and a touch of the child in all of us.

Implications for Internet Business Strategies

Those who built the Internet experienced a gift economy in the academic and scientific community. They also experienced it in kindergarten and with their mothers, grandmothers, and women neighbors of the type who volunteer to help in the local community, and who bake cookies. The Internet builders associated cookies with gift-giving and sharing. So when they set up shareware, or the Web, or shared file systems, they thought of cookies.

One of the fastest-growing demographic segments of Internet users is women over the age of 50. Surveys differ as to the exact numbers, but there were probably already over five million U.S. women over 50 on the Internet by mid-1998. They tend to be religious, traditional, and family-oriented - exactly the type of women who bake cookies. They are enthusiastic about the Internet and spend more time online than some younger Internet users. Their principal reason to use the Internet is to communicate with their family and friends [17]. The fact that they feel at home in the Internet gift economy is not a coincidence: it was partly inspired by them.

In terms of Internet business strategies, cookie-givers are not motivated by monetary profit; they give their cookies away. Companies who assume that in the future most transactions on the Internet will be in exchange for money will miss this important demographic group. It is certainly possible to make money from cookie-givers. Baking cookies requires cookie tins and chocolate chips, which cookie-givers buy. But it has to be done with tact and understanding of the gift economy. It is considered wrong by cookie-givers to charge $250 for the source code for your cookies, or to collect recipes that others give you for free and then sell them without adding any value yourself. There are examples of precisely this type of behavior on the Internet.

Clashes between the volunteer philosophy and the business strategies of prominent Internet companies have already taken place. For example, AOL was investigated by the U.S. Labor Department after complaints by some of its online community volunteers, and Yahoo! was forced to withdraw its claim to unlimited commercial use of the content of Geocities home pages, after an organized protest by Geocities homesteaders [18].

Conclusion

The reason that there are so many connections between cookies and the Internet is that in the U.S. cookies are a symbol of giving and sharing. The future Internet is likely to be dominated demographically by people used to operating in gift economies. Companies that understand the gift-giving philosophy are most likely to prosper.

About the Authors

Hillary Bays is a doctoral candidate at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Her dissertation examines Internet Relay Chat from a conversational analytical point of view. Her current interests concern politeness and topic management.
E-mail: Hillary.Bays@ehess.fr

Miranda Mowbray works on social aspects of the Internet, at Hewlett Packard Laboratories.
E-mail: mjfm@hplb.hpl.hp.com

Acknowledgments

Thanks to everyone who gave us information about cookies. The cookie icons in this paper are from A Touch of Country Graphics, with the permission of Teresa Spralding.

Notes

1. Cléo, 1999. "Sabir Cyber: Cookies", Le Monde Interactive Insert, Le Monde, p. v (13 October).

2. Hillary Bays, 1999. "The Gift Economy in Internet Relay Chat - Giving Immaterial and "Material" Gifts," In" Proceedings, "Exploring Cyber Society", 5-7 July, Newcastle, England.

3. See Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, 1998. "Cooking pot markets: an economic model for the trade in free goods and services on the Internet," First Monday, volume 3, number 3 (March); and Richard Barbrook, 1998. "The Hi-Tech Gift Economy," First Monday, volume 3, number 12 (December).

4. Eric S. Raymond (editor), 1996. The New Hacker's Dictionary. Third edition. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. The dictionary can be consulted on the Internet at the online Jargon File, version 4.1.4, 17 June 1999. Entries in this dictionary are donated by hackers, and edited by volunteers.

5. Nelson Minar, private communication, August 1999.

6. See Konrad Roeder, 1997. "The Dark Side of Cookies," All About the Internet, volume 1, number 21. See also the Junkbusters' page How Web Servers' Cookies Threaten Your Privacy, which gives a link to free cookie management software.

7. Clifford Stoll, 1989. The Cuckoo's Egg. New York: Doubleday; and Silicon Snake Oil., New York: Doubleday.

8. Robert Fulghum, 1989. All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things. New York : Villard Books. On a side note, this quote is on the "One Minute Manager" management training cassettes. It seems to be part of an American ethic.

9. Cheryl&Co's VirtualCookies site.

10. See Jeff Jolley's list of urban legends for one version of the story, and a recipe. For strong evidence that the story is not true, and another recipe, see John McMillen, The Cookie Hoax.

11. For a summary of some metaphorical meanings of cookies, see the LinguistList summary by Monika Bruendl, 2 March 1998.

12. See for example http://cheesecakeandfriends.com/Troop1440/1999/cookies.htm

13. Jacques Godbout, 1992. L'esprit du don. Paris: Editions de la Découverte.

14. Penelope Brown and Stephen C. Levinson, 1987. Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

15. Jimmy Schmidt, 1999. "Pay tribute to mom with fresh cookies,", Detroit Free Press, 5 May.

16. Erma Bombeck writes in Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983), "There was no situation too traumatic for {the stereotypical mothers of TV sitcoms} to cure with milk and cookies".

17. See e.g. "Retirees revel in net", June 1998, CNN , "Tenth User survey", Oct-Dec 1998, GVU, "Internet User Survey", Opinion Research International, 1999, and "Internet Demographics Survey", Nielsen Media Research/Commercenet, June 1998.

18. For a news report of the AOL incident see Elliot Zaret, 1999. "Volunteer rebels rock Web community", MSNBC, April 15, reported in ZDNet. For the history of Yahoo!'s ownership terms for Geocities content, see David Fiedler's Dragonflames site.


Contents Index

Copyright © 1999, First Monday

Cookies, Gift-Giving, and the Internet by Hillary Bays and Miranda Mowbray
First Monday, volume4, number 11 (November 1999),
URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_11/bays/index.html





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