Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 2, Number 4 / April 1, 1995 / Page 2

Editor's Page

by John December (, Publisher/Editor

The irony of print...

My thanks again to Nancy Kaplan for her article "Politexts, Hypertexts, and Other Cultural Formations in the Late Age of Print," in last month's CMC Magazine. Problems on our end dropped some lines from her article, and I apologize to Nancy Kaplan and to our readers--we didn't get these errors corrected until late on the 4th of March. (I suppose one of the benefits of a Web-delivered publication is that you can edit it as the reader is reading; however, my goal is for a 100% fault-free copy on the 1st of the month). So, if you were an early reader, take another look in particular at the context pages--Myron Tuman, Neil Postman, and Richard Lanham, and be assured that the approximately nine trailing-off sentences in the copy delivered at the month's start weren't the author's intent.

Also, the page numbering scheme for Nancy Kaplan's article (as well as the rest of the magazine) is my own device for providing a referencing system for pages in the magazine in non-hypertext contexts. Originally, I had an elaborate scheme for numbering the Kaplan article based on the graph-theoretic structure of hypertext as a connected, directed graph, using a depth-first traversal algorithm. But, then the deadline clock ticked, and I resorted to numbering the pages by using vi *.html in their subdirectory--resulting in the page numbering being based on alphabetical order by file names (!). Indeed, the page numbers of even a paper magazine aren't necessarily intended as a reading sequence as much as a reference system; and, any page of the Kaplan article, I think, could serve as a starting point for reading the rest of it.

You may have noticed that our first-ever cover last month sported a UPC symbol in its lower left-hand corner. On a whim, I asked art and graphics editor Jason Teague to put one on our first cover as an ironic reference to paper magazines (what other ironic references do I have in this magazine? ;) ). However, the formidable UPC bars, with their message of commerce, prompted some readers to write to me wanting to know what bookstores might carry the magazine. In this month's mbox, a reader requests a linear copy for convenience. Alas, I can't offer either.

Our East-coast-centrism trips us up ...

Jason Teague's excellent review of Cybersmith's in Cambridge, Mass., USA last month captured the feel for a Net-spin on a physical meeting space. Our characterization of Cybersmith's as "[the] First Coffee Shop on the Infobahn," as several readers pointed out, isn't accurate, as other cyber cafés have been on the planet for a while. Check out the Cyber Café Guide, which includes listings for, among others: If you'd like to write a review of these (or other) cyber cafés, please send it to us; we'd love to include it in a future issue. Check out the submission guidelines.

In this issue...

Our cover story by David Farber explores the assumption that a global information infrastructure, modeled on a United States vision of cyberspace, will inevitably bring democracy throughout the world. Indeed, the United States seeks to limit speech on the Internet--and other governments seek to limit other material. Therefore, is a US version of cyberspace right for the whole world?

Collaborate systems to share and create meaning on networks--groupware--has long been a topic for researchers. What new systems might arise for systems of groupware on the Internet? Lee Honeycutt reports on the recent Groupware '95 conference, surveying how many companies are proposing products to help people collaborate and extend their enterprise through the Internet. We also present an article exploring a possible future for group collaboration systems--Christine Boese's proposal for a CMC system for a non-hierarchical organization.

Thanks for this issue

Of course, as always, thanks to all the staff and authors who contribute to this magazine each month. Special thanks for this issue to: Lee Honeycutt, Chris Lapham, Kevin Hunt, Lisa Schmeiser, Amelia DeLoach, Jason Teague, Nick Weaver, and Kirsten Cooke.

Thanks again to Barbara Bernstein, President of Hampton Press, for her kind permission to reprint the three introductory chapters from the series of books, Computer-Mediated Communication and the Online Classroom. This month, we present our third and final excerpt, the third volume's introductory chapter.

Enjoy the issue!

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