Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine

Masthead / ISSN 1076-027X / Volume 2, Number 1 / January 1, 1995 / Page 1

CMC '95: Previews, Predictions, Prognostications

Editor's Page


The Nerd in the Noosphere
The Internet Liberation Front, the Lawnmower Man, monadology, neurobiology, and Tai Chi...Michael Heim pulls it all together metaphysically on this journey with stopovers in the global village and the Omega Point. Can a French Jesuit paleontologist and the Baron who invented differential calculus find common ground in a virtual community? Heim thinks so.


Cybercasting About Cyberspace
The very concept behind this special issue of CMC Magazine troubles Laura Gurak, who warns of the development of an explicit technological determinism that underlies the prognostication process. Gurak believes any questions we ask about the future of CMC are actually reflections of what we should be asking about society as a whole; she outlines what she considers to be the prime assumptions being made about CMC, highlighting those which deserve careful scrutiny.

Transitions in Studying Computer-Mediated Communication
The burgeoning presence of on-line activity throughout society--fostered by new CMC technologies--has changed approaches to studying CMC since the field's beginnings in the 1970's. John December explores new issues that researchers should attend to, and offers his predictions for how scholarship, technology, and society will continue to change during the coming year.

Can We Keep Community Networks Running?
Although civic computer networks provide valuable services to local communities, these grassroots efforts are facing a myriad of threats to their existence, such as unstable funding, increased competition, and limited technical resources. Steve Cisler looks at the challenges that community networks are facing, and he offers suggestions for keeping them running in the face of these obstacles.


What's Dis'Course About? Arguing CMC into the Writing Classroom
Purdue's Bill Hart-Davidson takes the CMC argument to a specific battlefront: that which was once called "Freshman Composition." What happens when writing no longer equals print? Instructors are forced to reconsider what they're teaching and why they're teaching it in the first place. Hart-Davidson asks, and begins to answer, the question that faces all writing teachers who favor CMC: How can we argue our case more effectively than we have been?

MUDS in Education: New Environments, New Pedagogies
The use of multi-user domains in the writing classroom can benefit both teacher and student; according to Louisville's Tari Fanderclai, MUDs even provide students with opportunities for "incidental," self-motivated learning. But the insistence of many academicians on utilizing MUDspace to perpetuate traditional notions of classroom education has Fanderclai worried about the future of educational MUDding.


The View from Singapore: Re-Imagining the Wild, Wild Web
From halfway around the world, international electronic commerce professional Thomas I.M. Ho never felt far from home, thanks to the World-Wide Web. His take on the bullish and bearish features of the national information infrastructure and the commercial potential of the Internet suggests an exciting, if not entirely rosy future.

Reconceptualizing the Virtual: Bringing CMC Back into this Reality
We need to re-think the concept of "virtuality" itself, according to Greg Siering, particularly when we're considering MUDspace. The rapid growth of educational and professional MUDs is raising a "real" problem --the "real life" priorities of businesses and the academy. Siering calls for a reconceptualization of MUDs as "communicative environments," among other necessary changes.


It's Fun to Have Fun But You Have to Know How!
or, How Cavorting on the Net Will Save the Academy
Rebecca Rickly, Eric Crump and others tackle the tough issue of why folks in the academy resent the sense of play that seems intrinsic to cyberspace. Follow their Borgesean, hypertextual frolic as they argue for more fun in the halls of academe.

Do Computers Matter?
Are computers any more important now for the average person than they were 30 years ago? Does the explosion in sales of multimedia PCs signal that the digital revolution--so long predicted for the middle-class household--has finally arrived? Peter Jerram takes a look at the sort of cultural revolution(s) that the PC is bringing to those households.


Of Ivory Towers and Infobahns
Metaphor, metaphor, who's got the metaphor? In our haste to name the tools that allow for computer-mediated communication, are we forgetting the effect the naming process itself can have? Mick Doherty and Kevin Hunt swap a series of letters arguing the point.

Letters to the editor always welcome:

Index / CMC Studies Center