Celebrity.com: Internet Finance and Frenzy at the Millennium
Consumption, Markets and Culture, Vol. 8, Issue 4, pp. 361-378, 2005
18 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2008
Date Written: 2005
The blowing of the Internet stock bubble was one of the great stories of the late twentieth century. As the millennium approached, we watched stock market prices for information and technology stocks consistently rise above those of blue chip, established corporations. And we watched as, by the first quarter of 2001, most Internet stocks showed losses of 80-100% of the prices they had reached in 2000. This paper argues that we are only scratching the surface of the Internet stock bubble if we try to explain it by looking at the success or failure of the Internet to deliver on its inflated stock prices. Instead, we need to ask a different set of questions. Why did value accumulate around this particular signifier, the Internet, in this particular historical and cultural context? And how was this value stimulated, intensified and circulated? This investigation makes use of a new metaphor to shed new light on the enthusiasm around Internet stocks. It suggests that at the turn of the millennium we were relating to the Internet in much the same way as we relate to a celebrity.
Keywords: Internet stock bubble, value, finance, celebrity, culture, communication studies, cultural studies, new communication technologies, information technology, information stocks, stock market bubble
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