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Encyclopedia of New Media: An Essential Reference to Communication and Technology Hardcover – December 10, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0761923824 ISBN-10: 0761923829 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up-From "Cookies" to "Copyleft," "Blogs" to "Wireless Networks," "Brian Eno" to "Steven P. Jobs," this comprehensive map of modern media's technological and sociological terrain makes an essential guide for library users bewildered by the seismic changes that the past few decades have brought. Sandwiched between opening alphabetical and topical tables of contents, and a reasonably thick index, approximately 250 signed articles are arranged in a single alphabet; each one is a serious, specific topical or biographical study, enhanced by closing lists of scholarly sources and a generous number of cross-references. Along with articles about ARPANET, Vannevar Bush's prescient 1945 essay "As We May Think," and other nods to the antediluvian past, hot-button subjects of current interest such as the Communications Decency Act or the MP3 controversy receive detailed treatment, and entries on "Gender and New Media," "Telecommuting," and "Race and Ethnicity and New Media," among others, broaden the focus. Despite its stingy selection of murky black-and-white photographs, this volume merits serious consideration, even for midsize collections, as a major and well-organized source of new or hard-to-find information on a mind-bending array of topics.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The introduction to this work starts with "What is new media? There is no single answer to be given." One is left with the feeling that new media is whatever the editor (a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago, president and founder of the Association of Internet Researchers, and coeditor of the journal New Media & Society) deemed appropriate, which is hardly surprising given that this is still an emerging field.

It is safe to say there is something for everyone within the just over 250 entries, which typically run from 500 words to about 2,500 (for Internet and Multimedia). There are the Internet-related terms one would expect to find (ARPANET, World Wide Web), but there are also entries for artists (Nam June Paik) and musicians (Brian Eno) as well as for specific works (The Soul of a New Machine). Many of the entries are biographical, including those, such as Steve Case and Bill Gates, who will be familiar to general readers, and those, such as feminist historian Donna J. Haraway and software engineer Pattie Maes, who may not. A work of this nature will inevitably cause some to question what should or should not have been covered. For example, the latest file-stealing service du jour (KaZaA) has but one page reference in the index (referring to the article Napster) and is not mentioned at all where it would more appropriately appear, in the entry Peer- to-peer. In addition to a name index, a general index concludes the volume, helping, for example, to steer a user with initials in mind (ISPs) to the right spot (Internet service providers). A topical list divided into 12 categories is at the beginning of the work.

All entries conclude with useful bibliographies, which, not surprisingly, feature a large number of Web citations. One expects some dead links for such entries, and this was indeed the case for a few randomly checked, though there were not very many, and only one typo was spotted within these links. Somewhat puzzling is the lack of Web addresses in spots where they would be expected. Most notable in this regard is the entry The New Hacker's Dictionary, which opens by stating it is "available online as well as in book form" but fails to cite a single Web entry in its bibliography. Both it and the entry for The New Hacker's Dictionary 's current author, Eric Raymond, completely overlook a page of links to Raymond's writings at [http://catb.org/~esr/writings].

Can this information be found on the Web? Of course--but only after wading through hundreds of hits and likely not in as clear and concise form as what appears here. Although some explanations may get a bit too technical for a computer novice, most will be understandable for the interested layperson. Recommended for all academic and public libraries that don't mind the fact that many entries will be dated very quickly. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


More About the Author

Steve Jones is UIC Distinguished Professor of Communication, Research Associate in the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory, Adjunct Professor of Electronic Media in the School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois - Chicago, and Adjunct Research Professor in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds the Ph.D. in Communication from the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1987), M.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1984) and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1984). He served as Head of the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois - Chicago from 1997 to 2003, and as Head of the Faculty of Communication at the University of Tulsa from 1992 to 1997. He served as Associate Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2006 - 2009.

Jones is author and editor of numerous books, including Society Online, CyberSociety, Virtual Culture, Doing Internet Research, CyberSociety 2.0, The Encyclopedia of New Media, Rock Formation: Technology, Music and Mass Communication (all published by Sage), The Internet for Educators and Homeschoolers (ETC Publications), Pop Music & the Press (Temple University Press) and Afterlife as Afterimage: Understanding Posthumous Fame (Peter Lang Publishing). He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals including ones in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Cultural Studies, Journal of Virtual Environments, Works and Days, Iowa Journal of Communication, Stanford Humanities Review, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, The Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and American Journalism. His research interests include the social history of communication technology, virtual environments and virtual reality, popular music studies, internet studies, and media history.

Jones was the founder and first President of the Association of Internet Researchers and serves as Senior Research Fellow at the Pew Internet & American Life Project. He has made numerous presentations to scholarly and business groups about the Internet and social change and about the Internet's social and commercial uses. He is co-editor of New Media & Society, an international journal of research on new media, technology, and culture and edits Digital Formations, a series of books on digital media, the Internet and communication (Peter Lang Publishing). His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Tides Foundation. In addition to numerous honors and awards, the International Communication Association and the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research created the annual Steve Jones Internet Research Lecture at the International Communication Association convention in recognition of his contributions to the study of communication and technology.

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