Stan Wasserman is right about the NY Times article (see his original
I was interviewed for it for an hour.
Although I found the story to be well-written and accurate (I've been
active in this world since 1990), I had some typical media experiences:
1. My co-editor (Caroline Haythornthwaite) and collaborators' names were
left out, even though I had carefully spelled them out to the reporter.
(The reporter says the editor cut the story down.)
2. To provide a good dramatic structure, the story focuses on people who
had an early analysis that many of us thought were misleading (although
they are all good people and good data analysts, and have the integrity to
publicly revise their conclusions), rather than -- dare I say-- those of
us who got it right the first time. (I think I was the first to do the
critique in public, at CSCW and CHI meetings a few years back.) In what
may be an intramural game, the story explicitly points out that the
original analyses (which have been questioned) ran on the NY Times front
The issue is whether the Internet multiples, decreases or supplements
social interaction / social capital.
Here's the our NetLab selling job:
1. Our paper (on my website), "Does the Internet Increase, Decrease or
Supplement Social Capital" (Wellman, Quan, Witte and Hampton) lays out the
issues in some more detail (if I do say so myself), and provides
interesting data from our National Geographic Survey 2000. (Albeit not
conclusive, because of the nature of the sample).
2. So too does the Hampton and Wellman Netville paper about
long-distance ties -- also on my website
3. The first comprehensive look at this will be the Nov 2001 issue of
American Behavioral Scientist edited by Caroline Hay. and myself -- we
have almost all the North American studies (+ 1 UK) represented.
4. Even more comprehensive will be our The Internet in Everyday Life book,
due out this time next year from Blackwells. More studies (including the
GSS2000-US), Japan, UK, Germany. Intro by Manuel Castells;
afterword by Howard Rheingold. Reserve your copy now;-)
5. A group of us (worldwide, but based at Clemson U in SC) are now
prepp'ing Survey2001 to go on the National Geographic website this Fall.
It will appear in a number of languages as well as English: Spanish,
Italian, German, French, Norwegian. If you're interested in participating
and are willing to do a translation right away into another Romance
alphabet language such as Portuguese or Swedish, please contact me or Jim
Witte right away. Several network analysts are already involved: Karl van
Meter and Vicente Espinoza.
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
[log in to unmask] http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
On Fri, 27 Jul 2001, Stanley Wasserman wrote:
> Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 06:34:42 -0500
> From: Stanley Wasserman <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Professor Who Once Found Isolation Online Has a Change of Heart
> Some of you might find this NYT article (from the 26 July paper)
> about the Kraut/Kiesler research of interest.