Web.studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age
Editor: David Gauntlett
Publisher: London & New York: Arnold Publishers & Oxford University Press, 2000
Review Published: March 2001
Hello RCCS! I was very pleased with the reviews of Web.Studies, which you have kindly invited me to respond to. I don't feel there's too much for me to say, since the reviewers were generally so kind, so I'll keep this brief.
First let me report on what has happened to Web.Studies since its publication. The book is selling well, and is being adopted on various different courses in several corners of the world, which is nice. I have to admit that whilst I welcome technological improvements in principle, I had a big fear that the World Wide Web would be globally replaced with something new and totally different, the day before the book hit the streets! I am therefore very pleased to find that the rapid development of the new media landscape did settle down a bit, before this book was produced, so it remains up to date in all substantial areas, and should be usefully relevant for some time at least. (Big relief!) Indeed, as Internet access becomes faster and more widespread, the possibilities discussed in the book become more, not less, relevant within everyday life.
When planning and commissioning the chapters for Web.Studies, the idea was to produce a wide-ranging, accessible book containing lots of different things that students and interested people could discuss and explore. I was glad that this was clear to the RCCS reviewers, all of whom seem surprised, just as I am, that there don't seem to be lots of other books like this. (Maybe, like many unhappy books published in the mid to late 1990s -- ones which cover Internet text interactions and barely mention the Web -- they will stumble into the bookshops two or three years too late).
I was sorry that Patrick Finn felt that bits of my introduction were too 'adversarial,' but since he refers to a knowingly controversial section, designed to spark debate, I don't regret it. I don't suppose anyone wants to read nit-picky replies to the other minor issues raised, so I shall simply thank the people who've sent me nice feedback about the book, and point out that without its many fine contributors, Web.Studies would be nothing. But before this turns into an Oscar speech, I shall simply say thank you, reviewers, and goodnight!
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