January 1997

Root Page of Article: Notes on Defining of Computer-Mediated Communication, by John December

CMC Involves Mediated Communication

Sculptors who work in clay, stone, or soap each gain a feel for the sensibilities of their chosen medium. These materials feel and look different and take manual force differently. Likewise, users and researchers in online communication work with different kinds of "stuff."

I've described the stuff of the Internet in terms of media classes, media objects, and media instances (December, 1996). These definitions rely on the common triad of client-server-content relationships that pervade Internet communication. These media classes, objects, or instances, when situated within contexts, can be studied.

This diagram shows three media classes. The class Web, at the left is the broadest, and consists of all Web space--all content accessible on Web severs which is accessible using a Web browser or client program. The middle class, JavaSun, is a subclass of Web, restricted to content accessible on the Web server. The rightmost class, JavaSunWin95, is a subclass of JavaSun, and consists of all the applets on the server viewed through the HotJava browser for Windows 95, alpha 3 release.


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