Description : Understanding the processes of technology innovation and diffusion, and the economic, social, political, and cultural impact of a diffused technology is crucial to understanding society, because technology is often the impetus for social change. The telegraph, which was the first large-scale innovation in modern communications, is an example of this phenomenon.Focusing on the telegraph, this study examines prominent technology innovation models and offers a new model with a diffusion phase that is specific to interpersonal communication technologies. The diffusion phase is given special attention, since not all technological innovations are alike in need and character and vary in the diffusion process. The first part of the book focuses on the origin and diffusion of new technology, highlighting the dynamic relationship between society and technology. The latter half focuses on the impact of a successful technology as it becomes embedded in the social structure.This book chronicles how the telegraph dramatically altered society's ability to control information processing. The innovation and diffusion process for the telegraph was prototypical of subsequent communication technology innovations such as the telephone, facsimile machines, and the internet systems. Of special interest are the roles that the government, military, and businesses played in the diffusion of telegraphic technology.
Description : In Always On, Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies--including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebook, blogs, and wikis--are profoundly influencing how we read and write, speak and listen, but not in the ways we might suppose. Baron draws on a decade of research to provide an eye-opening look at language in an online and mobile world. She reveals for instance that email, IM, and text messaging have had surprisingly little impact on student writing. Electronic media has magnified the laid-back "whatever" attitude toward formal writing that young people everywhere have embraced, but it is not a cause of it. A more troubling trend, according to Baron, is the myriad ways in which we block incoming IMs, camouflage ourselves on Facebook, and use ring tones or caller ID to screen incoming calls on our mobile phones. Our ability to decide who to talk to, she argues, is likely to be among the most lasting influences that information technology has upon the ways we communicate with one another. Moreover, as more and more people are "always on" one technology or another--whether communicating, working, or just surfing the web or playing games--we have to ask what kind of people do we become, as individuals and as family members or friends, if the relationships we form must increasingly compete for our attention with digital media? Our 300-year-old written culture is on the verge of redefinition, Baron notes. It's up to us to determine how and when we use language technologies, and to weigh the personal and social benefits--and costs--of being "always on." This engaging and lucidly-crafted book gives us the tools for taking on these challenges.