Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 1, Number 6 / October 1, 1994 / Page 2

Editor's Page

by John December, Publisher/Editor

Thanks for this Issue

I'd like to thank Nick Weaver, Lisa Schmeiser, Camille Shandor, and Bruce Mindheim for helping to proofread this issue.


I welcome Stephen Doheny-Farina as Columnist to CMC Magazine. Steve is an Associate Professor of Technical Communications at Clarkson University and is interested in the study of virtual communities in education. He has edited two collections published by MIT press, Rhetoric, Innovation, Technology: Case Studies of Technical Communication in Technology Transfers (1992) and Effective Documentation: What We Have Learned from Research (1988). He brings keen sense for what issues are important in the virtual world, and, in his The Last Link column launched this month, a bit of an attitude.

In this Issue

Japan, despite its might as a Pacific economic engine, seems to be lagging in its efforts to internetwork. Bruce Hahn's article in the June 1994 CMC Magazine explored the state of Japan's business communications. This month's issue includes two articles by John Ratliff, a Foreign Researcher at the Institute of Social Research, University of Tokyo, in which he examines the Sunshine City "Communications World '94." John also examines the public policy issues behind Japan's apparent slowness in networking, in his article about Japan's work to play catch-up in digital communications

In a similar vein, I take a brief look at New York State's current situation with regard to internetworking in business communications. I report on the recent Communications Expo held in Albany and raise possible reasons for the apparent lack of involvement in networked communications by the big telecommunications players in New York.

These articles illustrate how public policy issues are part of the equation for diffusion of technologies that can be used for CMC. While theorists in CMC have re-oriented much current research toward including users' social context as part of the study, a healthy attention toward the larger aspects of this context--including public policy issues--may also play a role in this analysis. Government policies, particularly as many governments are undertaking initiatives for national information infrastructures, may play a significant role in the adoption of CMC technologies.

This issue also continues a series of articles about journalism issues in Net communications. CMC Magazine Assistant Editor Gary Ritzenthaler describes the Global Student News project, a network of student reporters learning about technology and gathering news. Gary Gach surveys some ways current professional journalists use the Internet as a communications tool that can cross geographic, time, and organizational borders.

Robert M. Slade's review of Netiquette by Virginia Shea sheds light on another link in the encoding of network social norms. As more peole use the Net, these norms may play an increasingly important role in helping people cope with discourse and interaction in online virtual communities.

As mentioned in last month's Editor's page, I'm printing a chapter from the The World Wide Web Unleashed, a forthcoming book from Sams Publishing by myself, Neil Randall, and other contributors. In this chapter, I examine the growth of Web information and its impact on information quality, drawing on my experience and identifying issues for Web information providers.


CMC Magazine apologizes for the initial inaccurate characterization of the Tuesday Cafe meetings of the Netoric Project in last month's article, "Meet Me in Cyberspace". I added an editorial note clarifying the purpose of the Tuesday Cafe in response to a reader comment soon after the release of the issue. I regret the error, and encourage readers to check out the link given above for more Netoric Project information. This is a very worthwhile project, and I wish it success.

Staff Additions Coming Soon...

I'd like to thank the students in the Department of Language, Literature and Communication and and the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who have enthusiastically joined a local CMC Discussion Group. From this group, we will build a production team to ensure the continued improvement of this magazine and the CMC Studies Center. With the involvement and help a local production team can bring, I hope to better support input, submissions, and editorial assistance from scholars interested in CMC worldwide. Next month's issue should contain the start of this greater involvement by others in this magazine. ¤

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