Exploring human communications via computer. This is in contrast with exploring computer-to-computer communications.

I love this little chart which I first devised in 2003-05.

Nodes Traditional LAN/Internet Web
Self-to-Self *A diary or journal.
*Unpublished works.
*Leaving notes to yourself.
*Emailing yourself. *Unpublished sites.
One-to-One *A personal letter.
*A two person conversation.
*A personal email.
*2 player games.
*A private chat room.
*Instant messaging (IM).
 
One-to-Few *A letter copied to several friends.
*A small speech.
*Small range advertising.
*A niche article.
*An email copied to several entities. *An unpopular entity's site.
*An unpopular blog.
*A twitter with a small following.
One-to-Many *A big speech.
*Laws made by the one.
*Large range advertising.
*A book/screenplay/article.
*A mass mailing.
*A memo.
*A work of art like a statue.
*Spam in email, message boards, chat rooms. *A popular entity's site.
*A popular blog or blog with RSS output.
*Providing or consuming Web Services.
*A twitter with a large following.
Few-to-One *Two parents scolding a child.    
Few-to-Few *A small gathering.
*A small presentation.
*A small niche message board.
*Multiplayer games.
*A medium chat room.
*A small-group groupware document.
*A small group IM.
*An unpopular multi-authored site or blog.
*A read & write restricted wiki.
*Social sites.
Few-to-Many *Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, etc.
*Laws made by the few.
*A multi-authored popular book/movie.
*A play.
*A large presentation.
*A medium niche message board. *An popular multi-authored site, blog, or blog with RSS output.
*A write restricted wiki.
Many-to-Many *A large gathering.
*A convention.
*Laws made by the many.
*Public signs.
*A large message board.
*A large chat room.
*Massively Multiplayer Online Games.
*A large-group groupware document.
*A popular comments-attached site, blog, or blog with RSS output.
*An unrestricted wiki.
*A popularity-folksonomy site.

Communication involves nodes, means, and content. Eventually this topic will have to discuss things like intellectual property and freedom.

The "means" or the conduit of communication is a medium. The plural of medium is media. The vernacular usage of the words medium and media are differs slightly from the computers usage.

  • In the vernacular, the "mass media" refers to the various entities that facilitate Few-to-Many or Many-to-Many communication. This includes mass media for entertainment, as well the "news media" which informs.
  • In computers, there are usually two meanings:
    • Hardware media. This includes copper wiring, fiber optic glass cables, electromagnetic signaling (via infrared, microwave, radio waves, etc.), and the various connectors. See my section on Hardware Media.
    • Software media. This includes text, graphics, audio, and video. This is concerned with the protocols, file formats, streaming, players, etc.


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