Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 2, Number 2/ February 1, 1995 / Page 10

Pop Culture, Valentine style

by Lisa Schmeiser (

My Darling, my Disk Drive

Ah, February. Romance may be in the air, but it's not on the Web. After spending hours searching, the only pages I could find suitable for viewing a deux were: a playground poll on falling in love and a compare and contrast guide to the sexes. Just in case anyone was confused... If you prefer to thumb your nose at Cupid, then you can always curl up to your monitor and check out 101 easy ways to say no brought to you courtesy of Scott Yanoff. Or go out of your way to check out the Pigs in Cyperspace page, featuring the femme fatale for whom the ten-pound box of chocolates was made for, Miss Piggy.

The Tip of the Science Fiction Iceberg...

The Web is awash in science fiction resources; I've only included some of the most entertaining and informative. For general interest browsing and pointers, visit the Lysator SF archive and the Speculative fiction clearing house. Tongue-in-cheek author Terry Pratchett's page is admittedly a "well-meant attempt to tack a WWW front-end" onto the Pratchett Archives, but the contents are as ingenious as Pratchett's Discworld series. William Gibson's Agrippa comes with an interesting history of how it came to be on the Web. The father of cyberpunk's semi-autobiographical poem is worth checking out.

Substance or Style?

Most of the picks this month have focused more on page content rather than design. This practice mirrors a CMC debate which is beginning to stir in some corners of the Web: does a Web site's design or content make it truly valuable? Stovin Hayter argues in his commentary "Why is the Web so boring?", "shouldn't the exactness of visual design we have become used to in print take second place to qualities which are unique to this new medium we are trying to explore?"

Can innovative page design and interesting content co-exist on the Web? Next month, I'll find five pages that say yes. ¤

Lisa Schmeiser is a graduate student in technical communication. Her research interests include legal issues in cyberspace, cyberjournalism, and gender rhetoric on the Net.

Copyright © 1995 by Lisa Schmeiser. All Rights Reserved.

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