The Internet is changing the way we communicate. As a cross between letter-writing and conversation, email has altered traditional letter-writing conventions. Websites and chat rooms have made visual aspects of written communication of greater importance, arguably, than ever before. New communication codes continue to evolve with unprecedented speed. This book explores playfulness and artfulness in digital writing and communication and anwers penetrating questions about this new medium. Under what conditions do old letter-writing norms continue to be important, even in email? Digital greetings are changing the way we celebrate special occasions and public holidays, but will they take the place of paper postcards and greeting cards? The author also looks at how new art forms, such as virtual theatre, ASCII art, and digital folk art on IRC, are flourishing, and how many people collect and display digital fonts on handsome Websites, or even design their own. Intended as a time capsule documenting developments online in the mid- to late 1990s, when the Internet became a mass medium, this book treats the computer as an expressive instrument fostering new forms of creativity and popular culture.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgment, Preface, 1. Introduction, 2. "Feeling Spiffy:" The Changing Language of Public Email, 3. Typed "Jazz:" Writing, Play, and Performance on Internet Relay Chat, 4. "Don't Just Send a Card, Send a Cyber Greeting!" Digital Greetings on the World Wide Web, 5. ASCII Art and its Antecedents, 6. "Welcome to Our Beautiful World of Colors!" Art and Communication on Internet Relay Chat, 7. "There's More to Life than Times New Roman!" Font Frenzy, 8. Concluding Reflections, Bibliography, Subject Index, Names Index
Brenda Danet is Professor Emerita of Sociology and Communication and Danny Arnold Chair Emerita in Communication, Hebrew University of Jerusalem