From Habitat to Global Cyberspace


Many-to-many communications



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Many-to-many communications
Like the telecommunications infrastructure which pro­vides us with telephone service, and also like the rail­road system of a century ago, the Global Cyberspace Infrastructure will provide a crucial new medium for communications and trade. Cable television, computer and tele­phone companies are betting the farm on it.
Unlike these earlier media, Cyberspace is oriented around the idea of many‑to‑many communications. Simply put, this means interaction among a group of people. Until recently this was only reasonable when the members of a group were actually all in the same physi­cal location. Telephone conference calls don't work very well. Participants don't receive enough cues to know when to speak. There are no facial expressions or other gestures to serve as a guage of other people's reactions. Video conferencing at­tempts to overcome these limita­tions by putting the par­ties into two halves of a room joined by video cameras and microphones. This works ad­equately for conferences between two or three small groups that schedule specific meeting times, but Cyberspace provides a more flexible alternative.



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