January 1997

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

CMC Involves Processes

Online, people might:

  • Create meaning by writing email, posting articles to Usenet, writing in real-time chat environments, creating Web sites, and preparing multimedia files.

  • Disseminate meaning through point to point communication (email), point to multipoint (Internet Relay Chat, email lists, Usenet, Web sites), and multipoint to multipoint (within email lists, Chat, or IRC when many people are involved in a discussion).

  • Perceive meaning in text and multimedia on Web sites, email, Usenet, etc.

  • Continuously participate in forums for communication that begin to exhibit characteristics of community--including a shared sense of purpose, norms for behavior, and traditions.

The bottom line is that the activity that happens in Internet-based CMC isn't a series of discrete events, rather acts online have antecedents and outcomes and take place within a context. ^

Contents Archive Sponsors Studies Contact