Newsletter of the Mercurians, in the Society for the History of Technology

Volume 11, No. 1, November 1998

Mercurial Matters

Session Planning: 1999 and 2000

Mercurians Books?

Robert Arns Awarded IEEE Prize

Web Site in Progress

Signal Processing Monographs

Toward a History of Information Systems

Misreading the Supreme Court: A Puzzling Chapter in the History of Radio

Access Denied: The Beginning and End of the Information Society

Book Review
Universal Science

Media Ecology Assoc.

Film Studies Conference

Contact us

Web Site in Progress

As the level of experience with the World Wide Web has increased over the past few years, interest in setting up a Mercurians Web site has grown. While the overriding consensus is that the paper version of the newsletter should continue, the attractions of a Web site are increasingly apparent, particularly for outreach.

The catch in our discussions of past years was always the matter of labor. Who would provide the expertise and the time required for this project, both in setting it up and maintaining it? A good deal of tossing ideas about included several offers of volunteers by Mercurians who were willing to take up the challenge but were, as yet, unskilled in the necessary arts. Karl Stephan came to the rescue at that point, perhaps addled by the pastries and coffee, and told us of the expertise and experience of Pamela Stephan. He suggested that she might be willing to take on the project, and we are delighted to report that Karl and Pam are still married.

Hoping against hope that Pam Stephan would indeed be willing to take us on as a charity case, we were able to give some focus to the specifics of planning a Mercurians Web site. By an early decision, we agreed that the e-mail directory that is printed in the newsletter would not be part of the web site to maintain privacy, but that the rest of the newsletter would form the foundation for the homepage. In deciding that one purpose of the site would be outreach, we agreed to seek links that would lead interested folks to us. The site will, therefore, include a means of feedback by which visitors can identify themselves if they wish.

In order to make the site as useful to our members and other visitors as possible, we hope to include briefly annotated links to other pertinent sites. The key here is "annotated," so users won't have to spend a lot of time fishing about. Herewith, Mercurians and other good souls are requested to contact either Pam Laird or Andrew Butrica (see Contact Us) with your favorite URLs and comments. We will then coordinate these links and pass them on to Pam Stephan.

This is not going to happen overnight. Pam Stephan is a very busy person, as we might expect, but she has agreed to begin work in January. In the meantime, we are beginning the process of filing for a domain name. With luck, we will claim <http://www.mercurians.org/>, and be in the ether before the next printed newsletter hits the post. This is so exciting! And we can't thank Karl and Pam Stephan enough, although we will try.

Any suggestions? Any URLs?