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Hardcover | $8.75 Trade | £6.95 | ISBN: 9780262122467 | 285 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 12 illus. | June 2002

The Communications Toolkit

How to Build and Regulate Any Communications Business
Foreword by Anthony Oettinger


Although telephone, cable, broadcast, print, and Internet companies are changing at a fantastic rate, the fundamentals of communications, networks, and competition have remained constant. This book provides the tools necessary to build lasting, flexible strategies to survive and grow in these times of transition. Whether you are a business executive, lawmaker, policy analyst, industrialist, stock analyst, lawyer, or judge, these tools will help you to solve real problems right away.

The toolkit contains six tools — essentially ways to view the workings of the communications sector from a larger, more inclusive perspective. The tools draw on knowledge and concepts from communications, engineering, biology, business, and law. Tool #1, New Building Blocks, presents the big picture of the communications sector. Tool #2, Networks, develops the fundamental parts and processes found in all networks. Tool #3, Competition and Cooperation, presents the basic characteristics shared by most processes in which two or more entities compete or cooperate to obtain a scarce resource. Tool #4, The Three Visions of Convergence, sorts out the many things people mean when they say "convergence." Tool #5, Convergence Theology, shows how people’s faith (or lack of it) in convergence influences their predictions for the future. Finally, Tool #6, Concentration/Diversity, focuses on the forces that drive things together and those that pull them apart. The book also discusses how the tools can be used to understand and influence public policy issues.

About the Author

P. H. Longstaff is Associate Professor of Television, Radio, and Film at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, and a Research Associate at Harvard University’s Program on Information Resources Policy.


“I want to tip my hat to P.H. Longstaff...”—The Bookworm


“Longstaff presents a compelling case that an interdisciplinary approach is required to make sense of the often bewildering developments in the digital information economy. The Communications Toolkit is an intellectual tour de force that will become an essential reference in the understanding of communications networks and the convergence of the communications and computer industries.”
Allan Brown, Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Griffith University
“Clear, rich, deep, and eminently useful, Longstaff's Communications Toolkit provides the single best analysis to date of what the digerati of the information age have dubiously termed ‘convergence,’ examining its economic and policy context and the forces behind it. A must read for everyone involved with the information economy!”
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
“This book provides an intelligent, comprehensive, and accessible guide to the tools and strategies that organizations need to succeed in the turbulent world of new communication and information networks. It marks a refreshing break from the simplistic triumphalism that provided the smoke and mirrors for the dot com boom by offering practical ways to think about tough issues like convergence, competition, cooperation, and diversity in an information society. Longstaff's insights on government regulation alone make this essential reading for everyone with a stake in communication policy today.”
Vincent Mosco, Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University