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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

2.2 Constructuralist ecology of communication

This is based on the work of David Kaufer and Kathleen Carley ([Kaufer&Carley1993], [Kaufer&Carley1994], [Carley1995]). The strength of their work lies in their rigorous treatment of communication in general and written communication in particular. Its weakness is that the book which encapsulates the fullest working out of their ideas [Kaufer&Carley1993] was completed just as the Internet and its associated technologies were coming to prominence. This gives this particular work a somewhat dated feel.

[Kaufer&Carley1993] deals with the advent of print and its influence on the world of communication we inhabit. It starts from the fairly standard theoretical model of partners in communicative transactions exchanging communications with them but then moves on to focus on the entire interaction cycle of communication as the unit of analysis. This shifts the focus from particular elements in the communicative transaction to a single communication ecology .

[Kaufer&Carley1994] formalizes the discussion of communication concepts in terms of a series of concepts and axioms about both proximate communication and communication at a distance.

[Carley1995] moves beyond print technologies and starts to suggest some tentative ways in which this analysis might deal with some of the new communication technologies, without actually discussing any of those technologies. This work still does not address the new hypermedia publishing technologies which lie at the centre of this thesis.

Running through each of these texts are elements from three clusters of themes:

2.2.1 Initial assumptions

2.2.2 Concepts

2.2.3 Axioms and Theorems

2.2.4 An ecology of communicative transactions

2.2.5 Areas of application

2.2.6 Discussion

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© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * http://andrew.treloar.net/ * andrew.treloar@gmail.com