Masthead CMC Magazine / February 1, 1996
  Information Technology Systems as Publics, by John Monberg


Analysis of emerging social spaces should help to identify specific decisions that can expand the space for public participation, as well as to help diminish the possibilities of segregation. What regulations, what market structures, what user guidelines, and what user interfaces strengthen and enrich participatory, egalitarian, convivial social spaces?

By framing the study of information technology in terms of public, deeper, broader, more nuanced perspectives can be brought to bear on specific projects. We are, therefore, not blinded by shiny new technologies, but instead we ask how these technologies might support the social patterns we desire. If we are going to live in an "information society," then broad and deep perspectives ought to be brought to bear on specific projects to illuminate and reimagine policy alternatives. Furthermore we need to examine the implications these alternatives have for just what kind of society the "information society" might be. --

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