Network and Netplay: Virtual Groups on the Internet
Fay Sudweeks, Margaret L. McLaughlin, Sheizaf RafaeliISBN: 0262692066; 9780262692069;
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,...