Masthead CMC Magazine December 1, 1995 / Page 11


Waiting for Congress

by Amelia DeLoach (

   This message comes to you from Amelia DeLoach, a
   writer and Link Editor for Computer-Mediated
   Communication Magazine, who is researching an
   article on the impact that the online medium is
   having on the legislative process and decision
   making at the national level. If you are not
   familiar with CMC Magazine, here are a few facts
   about the magazine:

     * It focuses on the act of, social implications
       of, and possibilities of communication made
       possible by the Internet and World Wide Web.

     * It is the oldest sustained monthly Web
       magazine and was founded by John December.

     * It is a niche publication that appeals to
       approximately 5,000 academics and other

     * CMC Magazine is located at URL:
   The questions below outline specific information
   I need in order to do an complete and accurate
   article. However, if you have any additional
   observations or insights about how email, the
   Internet, or the World Wide Web has affected
   lobbying, opinion making, decision making, etc.,
   please include that as well. (If talking to me
   would be more convenient than writing a lengthy
   response, please call me--Amelia DeLoach--at
   (518) 274-4640.)
   Thank you for your time.

    1. If you are a staffer, please include your
       name and which senator or representative you
       work for.
    2. How many messages do you receive each
       day/week/month? How do the number of email
       messages compare to the number of letters and
       phone calls you receive? (Include whatever
       breakdown is the most convenient for you. If
       it’s difficult to pinpoint a number, please
       say so but do give some indication as to the
       amount of email you do receive.)
    3. What have been the issues/legislation
       prompting the larger email responses? (Please
       include any numbers you have on hand to back
       up your answer.) Also, did the pro and con
       responses tend to be balanced in number or
       did one position dominate? In your opinion,
       why or why not. Did the medium have some
       affect on the position?
    4. Has email caused your office to receive more
       feedback on issues than before Internet usage
       became more prevalent? If you can recall when
       email usage became a common way to contact
       your office, please note this.
    5. Do email messages tend to be in a form-letter
       style or do they tend to be individually
       composed? How does this compare to the snail
       mail letters and phone calls you receive?
    6. What affect do the demographics of the
       average” online user have on how their
       opinions and positions are perceived and
    7. What impact--in your opinion--has email,
       the Internet, and the World Wide Web had on
       the decision-making and legislative
       processes? In addition, how do you foresee
       the online medium affecting these processes,
       and even the nature of democracy, in the

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