Networked Computer Media
and the Middle Ground

Davis Foulger
Visiting Associate Professor
Oswego State University

A Poster Presentation at DIAC-02
Shaping the Network Society
May 18, 2002

Extended Abstract

A Medium of Communication is:

Media Taxonomies Describe

A Variety of Media

Propinquitous Interactive Media

Intimacy, Face-to-Face Interaction, Social Dancing, Small Group Interaction, Brainstorming, Family Interaction, Participatory Games and Sports, Classroom discussion

Live Presentational Media

Speeches, Lectures, Town Meetings, Judicial Proceedings, Ritual Ceremonies, Legislative Assemblies, Mobs, Theatrical Performance, Bonfires, Political Rallies, Live Musical Performance, Sporting Events, Puppet Shows

Static Art Media

Cave Paintings, Bas Relief, Oil Paintings, Dioramas, Quilts, Pottery, Sculpture, Architecture, Animatons, Photographs, Filmstrips, Holographic Recordings, Signs, Billboards

Correspondence Media

Letters, Notes, Memos, Telewriting, Telegrams, Telex, Facsimile, Tape Letters, Personal Video, Recorded Telewriting, Electronic Mail

Publishing Media

Books, Daily Newspapers, Magazines, Video Recordings (Videotapes, DVD Video, etc), Weekly Newspapers, Journals, Recordings (Records, CD's, Cassettes), Newsletters, Mechandise Packaging, On-line information, Online databases, Online services, Electronic Publications, MultiMedia Documents (VideoText), Billboards, Direct Mail Advertizing, Microforms

Telephonic Media

Telephone, Teleconferencing, Intercom, C.B. Radio, Ham Radio, Family Radio, Videophone, VideoConferencing, Internet Telephone (CU See Me), Instant Messenger

Dynamic Art Media

Silent Film, Motion Pictures, Film with Subtitles, Talking Animatons, Lightboards

Broadcast Media

Broadcast Television, Cable Television, Satellite TV, Digital TV, Radio, Talk Radio

Interactive Mass Media

Hypermedia, Video Hypermedia, Computer Conferencing (Newsgroups, ListServes), Cooperative Composition, Voice Mail, Electronic Bulletin Boards, Streaming Audio and Video, Voice-into-text concurrent interaction, Virtual Reality, Interactive Television

A Range of Media Characteristics

Creators and performers,

at least 9 creator/performer characteristics

often with the help of other participants,

at least 19 roles in media
and 3 generalized participant characteristics

including the commercial marketplace,

at least 10 marketplace chars

use language,

at least 12 modalities


at least 17 interface characteristics

and other generalized mediators

at least 2 power mediators

to produce,

at least 18 production chars


at least 26 performance chars


at least 10 storage chars

and transmit

at least 14 transmission chars


at least 18 message chars

to message consumers

at least 13 audience/consumer chars

whose feedback and replys may be observable

at least 5 feedback chars

through a set of available return channels.

at least 12 modalities

To be explored in more detail in the forthcoming
Characteristics of Media: the Message Beneath
(Scarecrow Press)

Network Computer Media and the Middle Ground

MediaSpace (Foulger, 1992)


Building Time Machines