Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts...A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..." (William Gibson, "Neuromancer", 1984, page 51)
Potential empirical sources:
Why some elderly Swiss people use the Internet
Baym, N. (1995): The Performance of Humor in Computer-Mediated Communication. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Volume 1, Issue 2.
Benschop, A. (1998): Virtual Communities: Networks of the future
Blumberg, R.B (1994): Museums, Public Lands, and Billboards: Toward a Philosophy of the World Wide Web
Bowker, C. (1998): Modest Reviewer Goes on Virtual Voyage: Some Recent Literature of
- "What is this thing called cyberspace? According to some, we are witnessing the emergence of the global mind: a revolutionary change in human practice of no less import than the invention of printing, or, before it, of language." - "Those of us surfing the Web also get bad backs and repetitive strain injury and end up working longer hours for relatively less reward."
Cranor, L.F. (1998): Bias and Responsibility in ‘Neutral’ Social Protocols - Computers and Society. September 1998, pp. 17-19.
Dibel, J. (1998): A Rape in Cyberspace
Doheny-Farina, S., Gurak, L.J. & Zappen, J.P. (1998): Rhetoric, Community, and Cyberspace
- rhetorical analysis of a MOO (not so relevant for me)
Donath, J.S. (1996): Inhabiting the virtual city: The design of social environments for electronic communities - PhD thesis
Donath, J.S. (1996): Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community - Prepared for: Kollock, P. and Smith M. (eds). Communities in Cyberspace
Fernback, J. & Thompson, B. (1995): Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure?
Fornäs, J. (1998): Digital Borderlands: Identity and Interactivity in Culture, Media and Communications
- good article
Giese, M. (1998): Self without Body: Textual Self-Representation in an Electronic Community - First Monday
- "In study after study on cmc virtually every one, whether survey or experimental, uses as a comparison f2f (face-to-face) interaction rather than with some other form of electronically mediated communication."
- "many of the regulars in alt.cyberpunk and other newsgroups use aliases, handles or avatars that are gender-neutral. One definitely gets a sense of gender from their posts but there is no way to assign a gender to them for certain."
- "Electronic communities do not and cannot formulate new cultures from the whole cloth. Instead they borrow, re-invent and re-configure symbolic tools already at hand to fashion symbolic systems that fit the environment they find themselves in. The technology of CMC provides both new constraints and new opportunities for human interaction."
- "one might tend to use more formal and more grammatical text in an academic conference on postmoderism than one would use in a forum devoted to jokes about bald people and yet another set of textual expressions in a forum for singles seeking companionship." - territories of jargon (cf. academia - a territory?)
- "This sense of identity [in newsgroups] is created in many ways. They include .sigs [signatures] and other net-adapted textual conventions such as emoticons. They may include descriptions of self but they also include the impressions left in the course of conversation within the group over time. The difference between self-presentation in RL and cyberspace is that one's identity must be literally spelled out. Self-presentation in RL is usually a very deliberate set of activities as well. Who has not agonized over the "correct" tie or skirt to wear for that special occasion. It is no different in cyberspace, except that the rituals of self-presentation in alt.cyberpunk are practiced in a textual mode."
- "In some sense they have control over the presentation of certain aspects of identity that they ordinarily wouldn't have in areas such as gender and ethnicity. This doesn't mean, however, that there are not constraints on self-presentation. As in any social situation, there is a continuum of acceptable ways to present one's self that is defined, in large part, by the group in a consensual manner." - but this is only external constraints; there are also internal constraints, a person may not have the ability to imitate a different personality, this ability is determined in the off-line environment
- "there is nothing preventing an individual from presenting multiple selves or identities to the groups one interacts with. However, in practice, it is very labor intensive and cumbersome to maintain more than one identity, particularly if those identities interact with each other in the same newsgroup."
- "Despite the fact that Rancho Deluxe exists only as a stream of ordered alphanumeric symbols transmitted across the physical geography of the planet, it is very real. The people who inhabit the Ranch are real. Their self-descriptions and the participation in "events" that take place at the ranch are also very real and very much a part of the personalities of the people who post them."
- "The cooperative narrative of Rancho Deluxe is a tribute to the social nature of humans. It also offers some insight into how old modes of communication (in this case text) intertwine with new technologies (computer technology in this case) in new and surprising ways. It is my belief that the key feature of this particular combination is the way it enables individuals to use a text, which has traditionally had a very attenuated feedback loop, in a nearly synchronous mode. This allows participants to conduct social relations in a reconfigured textual environment that is much more interactive. This new textual environment provides new opportunities for social interaction and self-presentation. Both are key features of the process of community."
Gurak, L.J. (1996): Toward Broadening our Research Agenda in Cyberspace - from CMCM
- "[C]ompeting visions of society's future in the online world continue to abound, tending most often to offer dichotomous scenarios of such a society: on the one hand are the cautionary tales of the new information technology as a potential danger, which "threaten[s] a loss of tens of millions of jobs in the years ahead" (Rifkin 1995, p. 33) and brings with it the potential to "isolate us from one another and cheapen the meaning of actual experience" (Stoll 1995, p. 3). On the other hand are the technological optimists who see great possibilities for community and humanity; for "drawing people into greater world harmony" (Negroponte 1995, p. 230) and creating orderly, efficient, and fun electronic worlds with few negative side effects (Gates, Myhnold, and Rinearson 1995)." - DISCOURSE & INTERPRETATION
- "In most cases, the problems and potentials of any new technology are far more complex than either the doomsayers or the optimists acknowledge. Part of the reason for this lack of complexity is that many of these positions rely on over-generalizations and do not look at specific cases" - BUT ALSO LACK OF ROBUST THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS & TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE SUBJECTIVE FACTOR
- "But while the "doom or glory" positions about cyberspace are often overly simplistic or generalized, the research positions on the other hand sometimes take too close a look, relying on experimental-style research methods to study small groups of computer users on limited computer networks. These studies have provided many insightful conclusions about online communication, but as some have pointed out (Lea et al. 1992), they often do not account for the context of the interaction and therefore may not offer insight outside the specific subject pool and experimental setting." - SO MY AIM IS TO LOOK MORE AT THE CONTEXT OF CMC
- "I argue that two rhetorical features, community ethos and the novel mode of delivery on computer networks, are critical to rhetorical online communities because these features sustain the community and its motive for action in the absence of physical commonality or traditional face-to-face methods of establishing presence and delivering a message." - F2F AGAIN!
Gurak, L.J. (1995): Cybercasting about Cyberspace - about tecnological derminism and the Internet (from CMCM)
- "[Technologies] are shaped by the political, social, and most of all commercial forces which in turn shape our entire culture." - STRONG ARGUMENTS FOR MORE DEMOCRACY IN TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
- "Susan Herring's (1993) research is perhaps the best illustration of the social biases on the net. Herring, a linguist, has shown in numerous studies that CMC discussions often have a gender bias, with men speaking up more often and more aggressively, and women using more passive language and more deflections, such as the smiley face at the end of what would otherwise be serious statements."
Gurak, L.J. (1995): On "Bob," "Thomas," and Other New Friends: Gender in Cyberspace - from CMCM
Hamilton, A. (1997): What Makes Women Click? - from ZDNet
Hanseth, O. and Monteiro, E. (1995): Social shaping of information infrastructure: on being specific about the technology. In Orlikowski, Wanda J., Geoff Walsham, Matthew R. Jones and Janice I DeGross, Information Technology and Changes in Organizational Work. Chapman & Hall, 1995, pp. 325-343. - Use of ANT in analysing information infrastructures
Hanseth, O., Monteiro, E. and Hatling, M. (1996): Developing information infrastructure standards: the tension between standardisation
and flexibility - Science, Technology & Human Values, 21(4): 407-426, 1996.
Harpold, T. (1999): Dark Continents: A Critique of Internet Metageographies - from Postmodern Culture; interesting critique of "the freedom to surf" vs human rights etc. (§§ 28-29)
Irvine, M. (1998): Global Cyberculture Reconsidered: Cyberspace, Identity, and the Global Informational City - paper presented at INET'98
- "The parallels to imagined global, cybercommunity are clear: as print helped produce the imagined communities of nationalism, the Net generates a new community imagined as post-national."
- "We're entering a era of globalized regional and urban economies (Castells, 1: 97-103). The virtual community is this embedded in the political economy of the global informational city."
- "Like similar utopian community movements in the late 19th century, the current movements represent themselves as points of resistance to urban, technological, and capitalist ways of living."
Kollock, P. (1998): Design Principles for Online Communities
Kollock, P. (1998): The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace - draft of chapter in "Communities in Cyberspace"
Ladendorf, M. (n.d.a): Teoretiska och begreppsliga aspekter
-"Enligt Shawn Wilbur kan många intressanta och meningsfulla händelser utspela sig i det virtuella, det räcker med att tänka på psykoanalysen och vilken roll begrepp som fantasi (...) spelar där." - but is it right to compare imagination and virtuality? - I think NOT!
- "Det finns väldigt många definitioner [of community], men en sak de alla har gemensamt är att det handlar om människor. Hamman väljer att definiera ordet som: (1) a group of people
(2) who share social interaction
(3) and some common ties between themselves and the other members of the group
(4) and who share an area for at least some of the time.
(Jag förstår det som att Hamman med "area" menar ett fysiskt område, men i cyberspace skulle området kunna vara symboliskt.)" - symbolic territory?
- "En författare som haft stort inflytande på diskursen om den virtuella gemenskapen är Benedict Andersson (1991), som skrivit om nationen som en föreställd gemenskap. Han menar att den är föreställd eftersom även medlemmarna av den minsta nation aldrig kommer att träffa eller ens höra talas om mer än en liten del av andra medborgare, men ändå föreställer de sig ha en gemensam identitet som t. ex. svenskar eller amerikaner.
I själva verket är alla gemenskaper utöver primitiva byar (och kanske till och med dessa), där kontakterna sker ansikte mot ansikte, föreställda. Gemenskaper känns inte igen på sin falskhet/autenticitet utan på hur de föreställs. (Anderson 1991: 21)" - this seems to be too strict, meaningless in fact, for today's communities (but very appropriate for nationalism)
- "Rheingold anses allmänt vara en av de tongivande på området, och har fått ta emot såväl lovord som kritik. En av kritikerna är Stephen Doheny-Farina (1996) som menar att Internet i stället för att skapa gemenskap gör att människor vänder sig ifrån det verkliga, nära samhället till förmån för globala, skapade och, enligt Doheny-Farina, falska gemenskaper." - this (1) overlooks the more fundamental forces leading to social fragmentation, and (2) misjudges the nature of ECs
- "[F]ör Lockard  är den virtuella gemenskapen på nätet inte äkta vara, utan enbart ett sätt att uttnyttja och suga pengar ur människors naturliga längtan efter gemenskap." - interesting, but important to be clear here; ECs in themselves are not exploitative (nor fake), but it is possible for private enterprise to appropriate this medium (after it has been established) and thereby make it into a means for exploitation.
- "Interaktivitet i medier är ingenting nytt, enligt Johan Fornäs. Gamla medier som målarböcker, där man själv får fylla i fält med olika färger, och sångböcker, förutsätter båda användarens aktiva medverkan. Men nya, digitala medieformer har ökat möjligheterna för interaktion mellan användare och medium, och mellan användarna själva. Interaktion kan förekomma i tre kontexter, det kan vara social interaktion mellan medieanvändare, den tekniska interaktionen mellan människa och maskin och kulturell interaktion mellan användare och text. (Fornäs 1998)" - a comparison of the last two is interesting when viewing technology as text (Woolgar?)
Ladendorf, M. (n.d.b): Metod - Cyberetnografi
- "[Metodene] onlineintervjuer, analys av form och innehåll och tematisk analys av forumen (...) kan samlas under begreppet cyberetnografi. Cyberetnografi innebär deltagande observation, intervjuer samt analys av texter i en vid mening (även bilder och grafisk form) av fenomen på Internet."
- "Den mest användbara informationen fick han [Suler] från de relationer han byggt upp i gemenskapen [by taking part in The Palace]. Detta talar mot det vanliga vetenskapliga förfaringssättet där man ska distansera sig från forskningsobjekten. Standardfrågor gav inte speciellt bra resultat, däremot fungerade email-intervjuer mycket bra (...). (Suler 1996)"
- "[Steve Mizrach] menar (...) att många forskare har använt sig av Internet på ett oskickligt sätt. De har distribuerat formulär till mail-listor och newsgroups och fått dåliga resultat. Få människor har svarat, och många av dem som svarat har svarat på fel sätt. Mizrach varnar också för email-intervjuer, eftersom mediet är asynkront och man förlorar möjligheten att modifiera frågor efterhand eller att ställa följdfrågor."
Latour, B. (1997): On Actor Network Theory: A
few clarifications part 1 of 2 - part 2 of 2
- "The notion of network helps us to lift the tyranny of geographers in defining
space and offers us a notion which is neither social nor 'real' space, but
associations." (pt 1)
Lie, H.W. (1993): Guest Editorial in Telektronikk - a technologist's (early) interpretation of cyberspace
Longan, M.W. (1997): Geography, Community, and Cyberspace - paper presented at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
May, T.C. (1995): Crypto-Anarchy and Virtual Communities
- "Virtual communities are the networks of individuals or groups which are not necessarily closely connected geographically. The "virtual" is meant to imply a nonphysical linking, but should not be taken to mean that these are any less community like than are conventional physical communities.
Examples include churches, service organizations, clubs, criminal gangs, cartels, fan groups, etc. The Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts are both examples of virtual communities which span the globe, transcend national borders, and create a sense of allegiance, of belonging, and a sense of "community." Likewise, the Mafia is a virtual community (with its enforcement mechanisms, its own extralegal rules, etc.) Lots of other examples: Masons, Triads, Red Cross, Interpol, Islam, Judaism, Mormons, Sindero Luminoso, the IRA, drug cartels, terrorist groups, Aryan Nation, Greenpeace, the Animal Liberation Front, and so on. There are undoubtedly many more such virtual communities than there are nation-states, and the ties that bind them are for the most part much stronger than are the chauvinist nationalism emotions. Any group in which the common interests of the group, be it a shared ideology or a particular interest, are enough to create a cohesive community.
Corporations are another prime example of a virtual community, having scattered sites, private communication channels (generally inaccessible to the outside world, including the authorities), and their own goals and methods."
Monteiro, E. (1998): Scaling information infrastructure: the case of the next generation IP in Internet - The Information Society, 14(3): 229-245 (Special issue on the history of Internet)
Neis, H. (1998): Review of "Cybercities: Visual Perception in the Age of Electronic
- "while the city has been the focus of modernism, it is receding and the computer is rising as the new focal point of culture and society"
Smith, M.A. & Kollock, P. (1999): Draft introduction to "Communities in Cyberspace" - ditto
Smith, M.A. & Kollock, P. (1994): Managing the Virtual Commons: Cooperation and Conflict in Computer Communities - ditto
Steere, E.R. (1994): Cultural Formations in Text-Based Virtual Realities - Masters Thesis on MUDs
Steuer, J. (1993a): Conversation, context and computers
Steuer, J. (1993b): Computers as social actors
Steuer, J. (1994): [S]ocial responses toward mediated representations of agency - PhD thesis
- "Results replicate the finding that subjects do apply social rules derived from interactions with other humans to computers."
Steuer, J. (1998): Tools for Building a Web Community - from Web Techniques Magazine
Sundén, J. (?): Cybercultures - Word format
Svenningsson, M. (?): Cybermöten: Socialt umgänge och relationsskapande på nätet - Swedish
Valauskas, E.W. (1996): Lex Networkia: Understanding the Internet Community - First Monday
Wengenroth, U. (1998): Review of "Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism"
- "a rather soft determinism clearly is the winner in this volume" - "Technology will drive history to the extent that societies fail to be aware of alternatives to the values embedded in it."
Williams, R. (1997): The Social Shaping Of Information And Communications Technologies - a SLIM paper
Windrum, P. (): Colline report: The collective invention of the WWW - PDF format
Windrum, P. (): Colline report: The collective invention of the WWW - PDF format
Ødegård, O. (1993): elecommunications and social interaction - Social constructions in virtual space - From Telektronikk no. 4, 1993
Ødegård, O. & Øygard, K.A. (1997): Learning in collaborative virtual environments - Impressions from a trial using the Dovre framework - Paper for ESPRIT EMMSEC 97 Conference
On-line reports, talks, interviews etc.:
Dahle, E. & Solbakken, H. (1999): Reiserapport fra Spring Internet World 99, Los Angeles, 12-16 april 1999 - Telenor FoU Notat; in Norwegian; "GeoCities has 4 million members", "47% of new web pages are non-English"(!!)
Latour, B. (1998): Thought Experiments in Social Science: from the Social Contract to Virtual Society - 1st Virtual Society? annual public lecture, 1 April 1998, Brunel University
Bonding by modem: An interview with Nancy Baym
Building the European Information Society for us all - Final policy report of the high-level expert group on the Social and Societal Aspects of the Information Society
Promoting User Confidence on the Web - W3C slide with the concept of "social protocols"
Living in cyberspace: Myths and realities - report of a Virtual Society? meeting that raises some interesting questions and corroborates a demythologising of cyber-hypes
MERIT at Maastricht University
Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative
Hyperizons - Hypertext Fiction
5CYBERCONF - Fifth International Conference on Cyberspace, June 1996
Cybergeography - visual visions about Cyberspace - recommended, especially for network freaks!
cy.Rev - Journal of Cybernetic Revolution, Sustainable Socialism and Radical Democracy
European Internet market survey, Forbes.com, 26 May 1999
- "In our assessment, the most promising market in Europe is the U.K., an exciting place these days with a strong technology infrastructure and a healthy appetite for innovation. Scandinavia's technology infrastructure beats the U.K.'s, but the Nordic countries are too small to offer economies of scale. Germany disappoints, and the lack of Internet development in economically advanced countries such as France, Belgium, Austria and Italy is nothing less than astounding. Europe's southernmost countries - Spain, Portugal and Greece - don't even have the infrastructure in place to support large-scale Internet development at this point."
The Tao of IETF
Politicians have the word:
Europe and the global information society - Bangemann Report (1994)
The Norwegian Way to the Information Society - Bit by bit - Report from The State Secretary Committee for IT
Innspill til en sosialdemokratisk IT-politikk - Report from The Norwegian Labour Party's IT group (Norwegian)
Informasjonsteknologi - Part of SV's "Arbeidsprogramdebatt" (Norwegian); "Informasjonsteknologien (IT) utvikler seg stadig raskere, og invaderer oss på stadig flere områder.", "Fram til idag er det teknologene og markedskreftene som har styrt denne utviklingen, og de styrer en stadig større del av folks hverdag - bevisst og ubevisst."
Solheim, E.: Den teknologiske revolusjonen - SV's Solheim writes abut IT (Norwegian)
Grossmann, W. M. (1997): net.wars
Hauben, M. & Hauben, R. (1997?): THE NETIZENS AND THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE NET: AN ANTHOLOGY - title in print is: "Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet"
Ludlow, P. (1996): High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace
Wallace, J. and Mangan, M. (1996): Sex, Laws and Cyberspace - content descriptions only
Rheingold, H. (1993): The Virtual Community
On-line journals & e-zines:
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine
First Monday - peer-reviewed journal on the Internet
Interpersonal Computing and Technology Journal - peer-reviewed journal
Technology and Culture - history of technology
Communication, Culture and Technology - Georgetown University
Computer-Mediated Communication - Wayne State University
Sociology of Cyberspace - UCLA
Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution
Computers and Society Articles Collection
Cybermind-related online resources
Cyberspace and Web Sociology - excellent
EU 5th framework programme
EU Info 2000 programme
Internet Index - facts and statistics about the Internet
Internet Project - Göteborg University and University of Oslo
HotLinks to the Virtual Worlds Industry
Mailing Lists (Publicly Accessible)
OCLC Electronic Collections Online
Papers on mudding
Philosophy and Psychology of the Internet
Psychology of Cyberspace - John Suler, Dept of Psychology, Rider Univ.
Qualitative Research Resources on the Internet
Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
Rheingold's brainstorms - early writer on virtual communities
Social Issues of Computing
tile.net - Comprehensive Internet Reference
UCLA Center for the Study of Online Community
Usenet FAQs by newsgroup
Virtual Society? - Woolgar & co
Voice of the Shuttle: Cyberculture Page
Cybermind - Electronic Mailing List about Cyberspace
Excite People & Chat
Some relevant books that can be bought from Amazon.com:
The Social Shaping of Technology -- Donald A. MacKenzie(Editor), Judy Wajcman (Editor); Hardcover
Leo Marx, Merritt R. Smith (Editors): Does Technology Drive History? : The Dilemma of Technological Determinism - review
Of Bicycles, Bakelites and Bulbs : Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change (Inside Technology); Wiebe E. Bijker
Sergio Sismondo: Science Without Myth : On Constructions, Reality, and Social Knowledge (Suny Series in Science, Technology, and Society)
The Social Construction of Technological Systems : New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology; Wiebe E. Bijker(Editor), et al
Shaping Technology/Building Society : Studies in Socio-Technical Change (Inside Technology); Weibe E. Bijker, et al
Virtual Culture : Identity and Communication in Cybersociety; Steve Jones(Editor), Steven G. Jones (Editor)
Culture of the Internet; Sara Kiesler(Editor)
Cyberfutures : Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway; Ziauddin Sardar(Editor), Jerome R. Ravetz (Contributor)
Internet Culture; David Porter(Editor)
Composing Cyberspace : Identity, Community, and Knowledge in the Electronic Age; Richard Holeton
Resisting the Virtual Life : The Culture and Politics of Information; James Brook, Iain A. Boal (Editor)
War of the Worlds : Cyberspace and the High-Tech Assault on Reality; Mark Slouka
Cyberspace : The Human Dimension; David B. Whittle
Some subject areas at Amazon.com:
Technology & Society
Technology & Social Change
Computers & Civilization
Computers & Society
Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso.
Bijker, W. E. (1995). Sociohistorical Technology Studies. In Jasanoff S., Markle, G. E., Petersen, J. C. & Pinch, T. (Eds.), Handbook of science and technology studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Bowden, G. (1995). Coming of Age in STS: Some Methodological Musings. In Jasanoff S., Markle, G. E., Petersen, J. C. & Pinch, T. (Eds.), Handbook of science and technology studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Jones, S. G. (Ed.) (1997): Virtual culture: Identity and Communication in Cybersociety. London: Sage.
Jones, S. G. (Ed.) (1998a): Doing Internet research: Critical issues and methods for examining the Net. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Jones, S. G. (Ed.) (1998b): Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting computer-mediated communication and community. Sage.
Marx, K (18xx): Capital, vol 1 [The chapter about Commodity Fetishism].
Schwartz, E. I. (1997): Webonomics - nine essential principles for growing your business on the world wide web. Penguin Books.
Shields, R. (ed.) (1996): Cultures of Internet: Virtual spaces, real histories, living bodies. Sage.
Tanenbaum, A. S. (1996): Computer Networks. 3rd ed. Prentice-Hall. [About the OSI Reference Model]
Lotte (Anna Charlotte) Larsen
ESST Oslo students