Digital media have been defined as meta-media that integrate new as well as old media on a single technological platform. As such, digital media enable new forms of meta-communication about the conditions under which communication is accomplished. The resulting meta-data bear witness to who was present, when, where and doing what, and these meta-data remain present for system administrators, regulators, marketers and other third parties to reinterpret and recycle. This article outlines the importance of meta-communication for contemporary communication theory, examines mediated presence as an instance of meta-communication, and addresses the implications of digitally mediated presence for current issues of surveillance.
Sound remains significantly underresearched as a form of communication, as a modality of experience, and as a resource for cultural expression and social action. This article provides an overview of the several disciplinary and interdisciplinary sources of contemporary sound studies. As a point of departure, the article identifies and contextualizes three prototypes of sound - speech, music, and environmental soundscapes - with reference to previous work in linguistics, musicology, history, and other fields of study. A wide range of contributions are reviewed with particular reference to their explanatory value concerning different types of sound media. The article distinguishes between three degrees of media, enabling communication in the flesh, mechanically or electronically reproduced communication, and digitally mediated communication. In each case, sound can serve as a vehicle of information, as a mode of communication, and as a means of action. The article outlines a conceptual matrix, integrating the sound prototypes, the media forms, as well as the social uses of sound, with a view to further research. Finally, some specific issues on the agenda of current sound studies are discussed.
Interactivity remains a central and yet notoriously difficult notion in studies of computermediated communication. Compared to most previous research, which has taken theoretical and deductive routes, this article explores interactivity empirically and inductively with particular reference to collaboration within organizations. The study relied on a theoretical sample of interview respondents - designers of web applications as well as end-users, (middle) management as well as rank-and-file employees. The findings, first, help to specify the meaning of ‘interactivity,’ ‘communication,’ and ‘information’ for everyday work practices. Second, the respondents provide contextualized arguments and narratives concerning how media that offer different degrees of interactivity, may substitute or complement each other. Third, the analyses indicate how e-mail, web applications, and other media serve to constitute specific forms of interaction between colleagues and departments within an organization. For further research, the article suggests the relevance of examining interactivity, in part, as a characteristic of the simultaneous use of several media. Finally, the interview discourses bear witness to how the understanding of interactive media forms within organizations is shaped, as well, by the wider social setting embedding both media and organizations.