The Internet

Part 1


Take Roll


Any questions with the homework?  How are the listservs going? 


Hand back old homeworks. 



Today we’re going to spend some time reviewing some of the concepts of the Internet including how it is structured and some different terms you should know.


Review of the three types of Internet technology we have been using:

·        Email and Telnet.  Email developed from Arapanet. 

·        Telnet is a way that we can access a MAINFRAME computer.  Although when we telnet to a computer, we’re seeing what happens in front of us on the screen, but in reality we are actually issuing commands at a distant computer.  This is nice because it means that you can access the CSUN mainframe from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection.

·        FTP:  FTP is a way of exchanging files between two computers, one of which is generally a MAINFRAME.  Sometimes you exchanging files between a PC and a Mainframe (which means UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD).  Other times you can use FTP to exchange files between two mainframes. 

·        Gopher:  This was a new concept.  The idea (from Univ of Minnesota) was that we could use the Internet technologies to try to organize files, papers and information on the system that would be useful and easy to move around in.  I’m only going to tell you briefly about Gopher because it’s going to die soon.  It’s a pre-WWW system.  But dying because it does not have the same flexibility and power as WWW.  Open up gopher://


Note that I have now described three different functions that are available on the Internet.  At some point, some very smart person said, “you know, it’s a real pain in the booty to have to do all three of these things differently.  Wouldn’t it be nice if I could do all of these functions in one application.”


That is when someone came up with the idea of the “Internet” and the World Wide Web.  WWW lets you do all three of these things:  Telnet, FTP and gopher and also exchange video, audio, and have hyperlinks.  Show how to telnet and FTP from the URL. 


So hopefully, we’ve now connected all of the links that we have been covering for the last few weeks.  Now I’d like for us to talk a bit about virtual communities. 


Discussion of virtual communities

·        Rheingold and Turkle:  Key points of each:


What question do you have from Turkle’s reading?












Types of members:  leaders, members, lurkers


·        Examples of types of virtual communities

Professional virtual communities:  Research on the Internet.  PsychGrad for psychology graduate students (check this out at APA’s web site).  Generally, if you have a professional or academic interest, there is likely to be a listserv for it.  However, many of them are NOT open to undergraduates.  That is why we are not going to use these for our research.  Also, it’s a bit incestuous. 


Other types of virtual communities are considered social virtual communities.  These virtual communities have 1000’s of different interests from sports to culture to topics, etc.  What listservs have you joined? 


·        Importance of virtual communities in current society

Virtual communities are believed to be very important in our society.  Why?  Based on the readings and on your experiences, why may virtual communities become important?  [Wait for answers]


Explain the difference between geographically based and geographically dispersed virtual communities.  Explained the different possible effects of each on participation in the community. 


Also talk about the differences between pro-social virtual communities and anti-social virtual communities (supremist groups).


Now, a listserv is a special type of a virtual community.  It is an ASYNCHRONOUS virtual community.  What does that mean?  First, there are other types of asynchronous virtual communities and also synchronous virtual communities.  (What does synchronous mean?) 


·        Newsgroups

Go to  Note the newsgroup option.  This is also available on Netscape.  Subscribe let’s you pick out newsgroups.



          Some are not active:  Alt.Bareny.dinsousour.die.die.die






Now we’re going to talk a bit about synchronous virtual communities. 


·        Chatrooms


What are chatrooms?  Places where people chat with each other.


Go to Yahoo.  Create a new id if you don’t have one.  Fake information or get a junk email address. 


After signing in, go to Edit and pick some place to chat. 


·        MOOs and MUDs

These types of virtual communities are less well known, but are actually quite well researched.


MOOs and MUDs are like chatrooms with objects. 


Telnet 8888


Go over basic commands. 


Connect guest


Look [object]

          Look squirrel


          Examine red-gold dragon





Say to someone specific `

Whisper ‘






Out, north, etc. 



What are your impressions? 



Visual virtual communities

Party Lodge???