Welcome to HCTD - Winter 2005 - 2006

HCTD Co-Chairs Report: Spring, 2006

Thank you for making 2005 a very successful year for the Human Communication and Technology Division (HCTD). We now have more than 500 members, an important benchmark for the division. In addition to its symbolic value, having 500 members also gives us some additional clout: an extra seat on the legislative assembly, the ability to place experienced officers in the legislative assembly, and a stronger claim to respect in the convention planning process. Most important is growing pool of talent within HCTD, which should expand our ability to do new things as a division. This year we expect to add additional members, though we believe we already have the critical mass needed to undertake new activities.

Conventions happen once a year, but our scholarship is a year round activity. This is particularly true for those of us who do research in human communication and technology. Twenty five years ago there was very little research in this area, despite an already rapidly evolving technological environment. The telephone was over a hundred years old, but was rapidly evolving with the new digital telephony features, a thriving teleconferencing business, the roll-out of switch-based voice mail systems, the emergence of videoconferencing as a successful business, and proposals to build cellular telephone networks. Mass market television was over thirty years old, but it too was rapidly evolving with the emergence of large scale cable networks, the ascendance of satellite networks broadcasting a range of pay and niche channels, and experiments with both Videotex and Teletex that promised to make broadcasting interactive. Fax was growing out of its initial niche in business into a mass market medium. Today's computer and cellular media have fueled an explosion of other possibilities that we, as scholars of new media, can not only observe but also influence.

HCTD does not have to do this, but there are advantages in setting this as a goal. We aren't just a division of NCA. We are a community of teachers and scholars with a common interest in new technology. We are all enriched when we share our knowledge and discoveries. We all lose when we don't. We have, as a division, made several attempts to create venues for sharing between conventions, including listservs, a collaborative wiki, and a working relationship with an online journal. None of these efforts have yet achieved critical mass, but that's no reason to stop trying, either with these initiatives or with others.

Would an HCTD blog provide a basis for an ongoing interaction in the division? Can we usefully establish a year-round virtual convention that creates on ongoing dialog around competitively selected papers in the division? If we do, would it be more interesting to schedule weekly or monthly synchronous interaction events online or to operate a schedule of asynchronous discussions (paper of the week or panel of the month)? Would a private (login) collaborative composition space be useful for supporting collaboration and data sharing within the division?

With your help we can take on additional goals. This year we amended the bylaws with the creation of the position of an HCTD information officer. We could do more, perhaps in concert with other organizations, such as the CAT Division of ICA, or the Association of Internet Researchers. We have established a relationship with an electronic journal. We could propose a special issue to publish our best convention papers, with panel chairs becoming special issue editors and respondents able to make integrating speculative comments in published form.

What would you like to HCTD to do? What would you personally like to do? We want to know and hope you will take a few minutes to complete this brief electronic survey,

----Davis and Andy, co-chairs, HCTD, 2006


This edition of the online Newsletter offers a look at the state of our division, our "High Five" membership update as well as introductions to the newest division officers. Just use the navigation buttons to the left to look over the content. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Ulla Bunz or Nanette Hogg.

If not a member already, please consider joining the Human Communication and Technology Division. You may select HCTD as a membership affiliation when you join or renew membership in the National Communication Association. Logon to http://natcom.org to renew your membership. You can also add HCTD to your current affiliations by going to our division website and clicking on the "Click here to join HCTD” This additional affiliation is only $5. Please contact either Shannon VanHorn. or Rodney Marshall for more membership information.

The Human Communication and Technology Division does research on the theory, application, and pedagogy of various communication technologies, including computer-mediated communication systems and other means of technologically-mediated human communication. We welcome papers and panels that address the use of "new media" in interpersonal, group, classroom, organizational, community, mass communication and other contexts.

We hope you will enjoy this edition of our newsletter and we look forward to welcoming you to TEXAS in November.

Ulla Bunz and Nanette Hogg
Co-Vice Chairs, Publication