Contemporary history of Europe

From far away to a click away : the French State and public services in the 1990s

Making use of resources such as web archives recovered through the Wayback Machine, newsgroups, oral interviews, state reports, press and audio-visual archives, this chapter describes the relationship between the French state and the web in the second half of the 1990s at di erent levels, highlighting cultural impediments and state impetus towards the web, legal issues and the heritage of the Minitel. It finally analyses government involvement, at the end of the decade, in the development of a ‘French webosphere’, how its designers perceived the role of a website, and how users and their needs were understood.

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