The production of the power user
others: she might be a heavy user, a hardcore gamer, or a machine addict, a linux-hacker, driven by a desire to know and to gain control over the power which in reverse is controlling her.
What distinguishes power users from average users or uninitiated newbies is the depth of practical experience with the
relatively unknown and unsystematised areas of techni.cation. This knowledge is uncertain by de.nition; it mostly centres around extending adminstrative control, and establishes a semi-stable status of alpha testing, where idea and implementation are in a maximum flux of exchange, and the gain and loss of control can be repeatedly re-experienced.
As a gardener of her own media archive,16 the power user begins with the cultivation of a private archaeology of knowledge. It is here, in the enclosure of electronic loneliness,17 where the mediation with technical changes takes place at first, and only from this point on, the power user is paradoxically able to re-enter the gift economy of the public domain again.