The ancient Greek word agora originally names a brick-and-mortar marketplace, a physical site for exchange, in general a center for municipal interactions of many sorts. The Athenian agora, for example, situated northwest of the Acropolis, seems to have been a bustling center for political, commercial, and religious activities throughout the fourth and fifth centuries BCE. It served its constituency uniquely as a designated public space and nexus for social transactions.
The Pathways Project uses the term “agora” to denote a verbal marketplace, a virtual site for exchange, a public space and nexus where ideas and knowledge are shared via whatever medium the community has adopted as the default technology. As such, it takes three forms: oral (the oAgora), electronic (the eAgora), and textual (the tAgora). Each of these three venues operates according to its own dynamics for creation and transmission, but the root correspondences between the first two—the home environments for OT and IT —are striking and important.