To David's page
 
 
     

For a guide to sites which tell you how many people are using the internet, where they live, and so on, see web statistics.

This is a guide to sites where you can learn more about the past, present and predicted future state of the internet and new media studies. For reviews of books and other websites, see reviews. And you may also like to see web statistics.

Some of the sites below are by academics interested in 'cyberculture' -- the cultures and interactions within the internet universe -- but with the internet developing and changing so rapidly, it is important to keep abreast of all the latest developments, legal and corporate interventions and general goings-on by looking at other services addressed to the internet community in general and web-building people in particular.

So these links are a combination of internet scholarship, reference, and current affairs. With apologies to people with slow internet connections, I've included screen grabs of all of the sites so that you can see what they look like before you decide whether to visit. They aren't in any order, and arguably get more interesting towards the bottom, so scroll on down there.
 

 

Resource Centre for Cyberculture Studies

Run by the enormously talented David Silver of the University of Maryland, the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies is "an online, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to research, study, teach, support, and create diverse and dynamic elements of cyberculture". Full of good stuff. It is handy if there is one site that everybody who is interested in an area looks at, and sends information to. I think that for cyberculture studies, it should be this one.

     
 

Spark

Spark is an excellent monthly online magazine, and it's lovingly designed too, so be prepared to be jealous. It's about culture, mass media, and new media. Wander around and you find more content than you originally thought -- fashion! comics! technology! dance! religion?! Visit!

     
 

Wired News

Surprisingly, the style-conscious Wired magazine has a rather conventional site, but it's well organised and has lots of (daily) news about internet developments, regulations, and innovations. You can also study the excellent extensive on-line archive of Wired magazine articles.

     
 

The World Wide Web Consortium

Lots of useful basic (and advanced) information about the world wide web. Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the web [not the internet, but the www], has an interesting Frequently Asked Questions page in which he indicates that he always thought that the web should be about the free flow of information, and that people aren't using hyperlinks properly these days, because he wanted everybody to link to everything else that was relevant to them, but people (or companies, rather) often don't, and try to tie visitors in, rather than sending them off on an eclectic cybertrip.

Dig around for other good stuff.

     

The MIT Media Lab

Very interesting... the famous MIT Media Lab gets money from lots of companies so that it can spend its time contemplating digital futures, etc, on their behalf. And why not.

     
 

Netscape's Developer Pages

Enormous amounts of information about web technologies and web building. Not a sociological cyberculture type site, obviously, but an understanding of one goes hand in hand with the other, and Netscape have put together a load of valuable, up-to-date reference material here, and it seems to be free of Microsoft-style corporate bias.

     
 

Virtual Society?

This site for the ESRC-funded Virtual Society? research programme -- "the social science of electronic technologies" -- has a good range of information about research findings, articles, and a bunch of relevant links. Ironic entertainment can be found as articles about Web inaccessibility are reproduced as enormous GIF files. But it's good stuff.

     
 

The Internet Society

You would expect the Internet Society to have some brilliantly-designed webpages. But they don't. However, there's lots of information here on the history and development of the internet. The Internet Society's mission statement is "To assure the beneficial, open evolution of the global Internet and its related internetworking technologies through leadership in standards, issues, and education". Good-o.

     
 

Iconocast - Web marketing research

Iconocast, it says here, "is the definitive resource for facts, figures, trends and rumors in the Internet marketing industry". Whilst you might think that internet marketing sounds very dull, these marketing people are very keen on having up-to-date information on who is using the internet, how long for, what their favourite kind of cheese is, and so on. Some of which can be interesting.

     
 

The Industry Standard: The Newsmagazine of the Internet Economy

Seems to me to be a useful source on what's going down in the commercialisation of the internet. It may be insufficiently critical of developments, but at least it tells you they're happening.

     
 

Toolkit for Web Activists

This 'Activist Toolkit' produced by 'ONE/Northwest: Online Networking for the Environment' is full of information on how to be an internet activist, which includes some very good stuff on how to make webpages which are of much broader interest.

     
 

UseIt

This site by Jakob Nielsen contains loads of information about web usability. Jakob is into having websites which are as quick to load, and as easy to navigate around, as possible. As his main page (pictured left) suggests, this doesn't necessarily lead to very gorgeous design; but Jakob would say that users just want to get to the information that they are after, and don't really care about gorgeous design, and he's probably right. In any case, the site contains lots of advice about improving navigation which many sites (whether plain or complex) would benefit from.

     
 

Yale Web Style Guide

From the authors of Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites (Yale University Press, 1999), it's... a web style guide. On the web. Handy. (The book is, of course, reviewed in our web design book reviews section).

The slightly dull look of their site suggests that they are more interested in good, clear design, rather than design which is imaginative as well as being good and clear, but given the number of horrible websites in the world, this is much needed. Speaking of which...

     
 

Web Pages That Suck

At www.webpagesthatsuck.com they suggest that you learn good design by looking at bad design -- and they have the links to a good range of sucky sites so that you can try this active learning method for yourself. Thankfully they help out those who aren't sure by explaining what sucks about the sites in question. This started life as a website, which is still regularly updated, and then mutated into the book which you see pictured here. (This is also reviewed -- and highly recommended -- in our web design book reviews section).

     
 

The Information Society

The Information Society journal, published since 1981, is (it says here) "a key critical forum for leading edge analysis of the impacts, policies, system concepts, and methodologies related to information technologies and changes in society and culture".

And, with a deft show of unintentional ironic humour, the site highlights a key aspect of the information society by telling you that you have to, er, pay to see The Informattion Society. (With a revolutionary take on hypermedia, they get you to pay for a subscription to the paper version, and then when you've got that you can access it on the web too!). So at least that was a laugh, and it's not actually quite such a closed shop -- a handful of articles appear on-line, and you can see the abstracts of all the articles they've published. I got to print out a 30-page article called 'Hyperbole over Cyberspace' which looks interesting, anyway.

     
 

High Noon on the Electronic Frontier

This is most of the text of the book High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace, edited by Peter Ludlow (MIT Press, 1996). Has numerous chapters, on piracy, property rights, privacy, censorship, and self and community online. Obviously a bit old now, but bound to be something useful here.

     
 

SocioSite's Cyberspace and Web Sociology section

It's an enormous, well annotated, and up-to-date list of links.

     
 

Center for Digital Discourse and Culture

This site is rather slim in places at the moment, but I am assured that it is a grower. Has a good set of links.

     
 

Cybersoc.com

Run by Robin Hamman, Cybersoc is "an online resource for social scientists interested in the study of the internet, cyberspace, computer mediated communication, and online communities". Hurray.

     
 

Hypermedia Research Centre

The HyperMedia Research Centre of the University of Westminster. Mostly about putting arts onto the web, with some interesting stuff. It houses the old Future Sound of London site. Overall the HyperMedia site feels a bit like it needs more work, though.

     
 

Postmodern Culture

Contain some cyberculture articles alongside all of the other pomo stuff.

     
 

CyberStudies Resources WebRing

Unsurprisingly, it's a ring of resources on cyberstudies.

     
 

CMC Magazine

Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine ceased to publish new issues at the start of 1999. But it still has a valuable archive of stuff on this subject (which will gradually become more and more outdated, obviously).

     
 

Papers and Research on Cyberculture

Okay, it's just a page of links, but they're good links.

     
 

Scott's Library: Cyberculture and Cyberstudies

It's another up-to-date page of links. Well I can't be bothered to list and check this many links, so be thankful you have, er, Scott.

     
 

Peculiarities of Cyberspace: Building Blocks for an Internet Sociology

Albert Benschop of Amsterdam considers virtual communities, cyber capitalism, distance learning, and the nature of internet culture in some depth. Lots of content here.

     
 

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication established 1995, does appear on the web, so check it out. Might be a little dry for some tastes, but students of computer-mediated communication are bound to find something useful here.

     
 

Corporate Watch: Microsoft

Well-organised internet activists Corporate Watch have put together a good site on Microsoft's domination of computer systems and communications. Includes an interview with Noam Chomsky and material on Microsoft and globalisation. And their site looks very good too -- unlike most of the CMC [computer-mediated communication] people above.

     
 

MCS (Media and Communications Studies Site)

This well-established site is by Daniel Chandler at the University of Wales, and is full of links. The internet stuff lives in the 'IT and Telecoms' section. It's not just links -- there is some original material there too. Web purists will say that we could do without the 200k sound file at the top of the site which makes you jump by saying 'Welcome to the MCS site', but Daniel works hard on this site, and is a nice guy, so we can forgive him these things.

     
 

The Psychology of Cyberspace

John Suler has put this "online hypertext book" on the Web. It is an interactive project -- you can make suggestions and if they are brilliant, John may change his text accordingly! If only all books were like this. (Other books may be easier to read on the beach, but you can't have everything).

The purpose of this work is "to explore the psychological dimensions of environments created by computers and online networks. It is intended as an evolving conceptual framework for understanding the various psychological components of cyberspace and how people react to and behave within it".

     

If you have suggestions for sites that should be listed here,
please e-mail them to me. Thanks!

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