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Computer-Mediated Communication. Community, Science, and CMC. Course business. Join the mailing list! Instructions in the News section of course website.

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computer mediated communication

Computer-Mediated Communication

Community, Science, and CMC

course business
Course business
  • Join the mailing list!
    • Instructions in the News section of course website.
  • Meta-review groups for the semester will be sent out on the cmc mailing list by Wednesday evening. If you have a known conflict, email me asap (coye@ischool)

Computer-Mediated Communication

course business continued
Course business (continued)
  • Megan needs information from non-ischool students so that you will have access to our Wiki

(Information sheet will be passed around class)

Computer-Mediated Communication

final projects from the before time the long long ago
Final projects from the before time…the long long ago…
  • Two Examples
    • Squash&Vine
      • user assessment, site prototype
    • Mediated Memory
      • Theory and hypotheses, experimental design

Computer-Mediated Communication

web 2 0 circa 1985
Web 2.0, circa 1985?


Computer-Mediated Communication

rheingold s study an early online community
Rheingold’s study: An early online community

(Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link)

  • At this time, geography still played an important role because of BBSes (local telephone access)
  • Less use of pseudonyms (identity persistence)
  • Less initial distrust
  • Socioeconomic skew?

Computer-Mediated Communication

what is an online virtual community
What is an online/virtual community?

Social Spaces


Professional Groups

Work-related discussion groups

Medical and Illness support groups

Geographically related groups

Tech/Software Support

Computer-Mediated Communication

Virtual communities are social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.

Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community

Computer-Mediated Communication

social networks
Social networks
  • NOT the same as “social networking” sites!
  • Accumulate capital (Smith) …
    • Social capital
    • Knowledge capital
    • Communion
  • … through ties within the network.

Computer-Mediated Communication

potential to change our lives rheingold 1995
Potential “to change our lives”Rheingold (1995)

Political change

(aggregatesocial level)

Person-to-person interaction

(interpersonal interaction level)

Perception, thoughts, personalities

(individual level)



Computer-Mediated Communication

but does cmc change lives
But does CMC change lives?
  • That is, does technology change people? Change society?
  • What’s the role of adaptation?

Computer-Mediated Communication


Activity-centered design: An ecological approach to designing smart tools (Gay and Hembrooke 2004)

Computer-Mediated Communication


Activity-centered design: An ecological approach to designing smart tools (Gay and Hembrooke 2004)

Computer-Mediated Communication


The Internet as “agora”?

Computer-Mediated Communication


The Internet as Panopticon?

Computer-Mediated Communication

how do we know if the promise is being fulfilled
How do we know if the promise is being fulfilled?

How is Internet use related to general social interaction?

How does offline interaction relate to online interaction?

Computer-Mediated Communication

does cmc change science
Does CMC change science?
  • Cyberpsychology — but what about:
    • Cybersociology
    • Cybereconomics
    • Cyberengineering
    • Cyberlaw
    • Cyber_fill-in-blank_
  • Are these truly different?

Computer-Mediated Communication

the internet as virtual laboratory
The Internet as virtual laboratory

“Cyberspace as a scientifically legitimate social environment”


— To understand human behavior in mediated channels,

— To explain it, and

— To predict it.

Computer-Mediated Communication

for thursday
For Thursday
  • Erving Goffman. (1956) Chapter 1 from The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday. (In reader.)
  • Judith Donath. (1998) Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community. In Smith, M., and P. Kollock (Eds.) Communities in Cyberspace. London: Routledge.

Computer-Mediated Communication