foreword by Ronald Rice
The vast, international web of computer networks that is the Internet offers millions of users the opportunity to exchange electronic mail, photographs, and sound clips; to search databases for books, CDs, cars, and term papers; to participate in real-time audio- and video-conferencing; and to shop for products both virtual and physical. This huge conglomerate of links, hyperlinks, and virtual links is not just a technology for linking computers—it is a medium for communication.
The convergence of computer and communication technologies creates a social convergence as well. People meet in chat rooms and discussion groups to converse on everything from auto mechanics to postmodern art. Networked groups form virtually and on-the-fly, as common interests dictate. Like interpersonal communication, the networks are participatory, their content made up by their audience. Like mass-mediated communication, they involve large audiences. But the networks are neither purely interpersonal nor purely mass—they are a new phenomenon.
Network and Netplay addresses the mutual influences between information technology and group formation and development, to assess the impact of computer-mediated communications on both work and play. Areas discussed include the growth and features of the Internet, network norms and experiences, and the essential nature of network communication.
Contributors: Michael Berthold, Lee Li-Jen Chen, Richard Coyne, Brenda Danet, Patrick Doyle, Brian R. Gaines, Barbara Hayes-Roth, Steve Jones, Sandra Katzman, Edward Mabry, Richard MacKinnon, Margaret McLaughlin, Sid Newton, Kerry Osborne, Sheizaf Rafaeli, Yehudit Rosenbaum-Tamari, Lucia Ruedenberg, Christine Smith, Fay Sudweeks, Alexander Voiskounsky, Diane Witmer.