of Communications faculty member Connie Book has completed her study
of Internet predictions for the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
with a team of students and Elon faculty members, including Michael
Frontani, to accomplish the research. Students involved included:
Tiffany Avery; Shannon Bonnezi; Allison Dieboldt; Eric Kastendike;
Kristen Kerr; Jessica Rivelli; Brian Sentman; Betsy Snavely; Erica
Stanley; Elizabeth Sudduth; Maggie Sullivan; and Kate Wodyka.
research unearthed hundreds of predictions made in dozens of print
sources from 1993, the year when the first commercial Web browser
was deployed, to 1995, when a mature Internet system was in place
in the United States. Sources included various newspapers and magazines,
including Time, Newsweek, Wired, The Financial Times, The Washington
Post, Newsday, The Guardian and The New York Times.
time, Book noted, predictions were frequently made on how information
would change the democratic process, how information would be packaged
and sold on the Internet, how this information would change our
global relationships and how it could change our economic structure.
"Two of the
most influential publications during this time were The New York
Times and Wired," Book said. "Both played key roles in informing
the community." Also included in the predictions study are statements
from one book, Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital." It had a great
deal of impact, Book said, during a period in which people could
only dream about the possibilities of the Internet as it got its
Project Director Lee Rainie, a member of Elon's School of Communications
Advisory Board, was instrumental in getting this project off the
ground. He came to Elon in search of people who could assemble an
Internet predictions study that reflects the work of Ithiel de Sola
Pool, a visionary researcher who forecast decades ago many of the
technological developments which have come to pass today.
The data has
been written into a research-paper format and submitted for future
publication in a professional journal.