Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 1, Number 4 / August 1, 1994 / Page 2

Editor's Page

by John December, Publisher/Editor

In this Issue

Another month, and I see a common thread weaving subtly throughout the articles in this issue. The theme this month: Where are our personal boundaries on the Net? When can our private ramblings, perhaps made in the not-so-private confines of an obscure newsgroup, suddenly become someone else's commodity---used, for example, by journalists or Net scholars to earn a living? When do our private and public Net interchanges become a public perception of us? What rights do we have to choose which communication forums we want to join (in terms of both access to the technology and access to Net literacy skills)? How can we keep our discourse private?

Susan G. Lesch, in her article, "Your Work On TV? A View From The USA", surveys different views of public and private online discourse, in the light of increased popular-press attention to the Internet. Just what is "fair use" when it comes to Net discourse? Is participation in Usenet, a MOO, or interactive webbing a public activity or private discourse? Moreover, what is the net result of an individual's interaction online? Moreover, how do people form an idea of the "Net Presence" of another person? Phil Agre outlines the concept of "Net Presence."

Can everyone have the skills to interact on networks? Don Langham presents a case for a cyberspace literacy in order to achieve the equal access so many are trying to achieve through infrastructure alone. Of course access has a physical component---Elizabeth Reid provides an answer to questions about access to MUDs in Australia, and how resulting Net interactions spread a rumor. Brock N. Meeks reports on the U.S. government's change in attack on Clipper---at issue is how we can maintain private encryption (to assure some degree of Net privacy) to co-exist with government needs for security. Just as private cryptography has emerged from Net communities (an example of how humans have an uncanny ability to twist technology to their own ends), humans also reject technology that has no use for them: Bill Hulley looks at choices people make about the communication technologies they want to use--despite the hype of media mergers and talk of convergence.

I'd like to extend a special thanks to Assistant Editors Leysia Palen and Gary Ritzenthaler. Leysia has been particularly skilled at encouraging excellent writers to contribute to the magazine; and Gary has helped proofread copy as well as write another excellent installment in his series about the Florida Compass news project.

Navigation Link Update

I've done a bit of re-design in the magazine's navigation links. Now, the link at the top of an article's page:
Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine /
always goes to the current issue's table of contents. The link at the bottom of the page:
This Issue /
always takes you to the table of contents of the issue in which the page occurs. (For the current issue both links are the same). I hope this helps when navigating in old issues, particularly when a current article links to an archived article.

Reminder: all back issues are available through the archive (a link listed in the index).

This Issue / Index