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Personal Communication by CMC

Joseph B. Walther

Subject Human Communication and Technology » Computer Mediated Communication

Key-Topics electronic media

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Computer-mediated communication (CMC) includes →  electronic mail , group discussion systems, real-time chat, personal blogs, micro-blogs (→  Blogger ), conversational components of online games (→  Computer Games and Reality Perception ) and date-finding sites (→  Online Relationships ), and interactive aspects of web-based participatory platforms such as →  social network sites (→  Intergroup Contact and Communication ; Network Organizations through Communication Technology ). Through these platforms people send messages either to a defined individual or set of recipients, or to a space where many people may read and reply to others' messages. Much CMC is used for professional pursuits, yet even there personalizing features help users relate to one another, which may enhance both the instrumental and interpersonal aspects of such communication. A great deal of CMC is used specifically for personal goals and activities. In some ways CMC is a simple alternative to other forms of communication (→  Online Media ), with some socio-technical features that alter communication dynamics (→  Human–Computer Interaction ). In other ways CMC offers significant opportunities that enhance communication in personal settings by allowing users to contact a large field of potential communication partners, reducing aspects of human interaction that impede communication effectiveness in conventional ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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