RIP Steve Jobs

Cross-posted at the grad student course blog: http://745techprofcomm.wordpress.com/


In Laura Gurak’s 2001 book Cyberliteracy: Navigating the Internet with Awareness, she defines “cyberliteracy” as inherent of four traits:

  • SPEED: the Internet inspires speediness; it is one of the key features of Internet communication. And this speed inspires certain behaviors and qualities.
  • REACH: partner of speed and one of the axioms of communication technology. Digitized discourse travels quickly and it also travels widely to reach thousands, even millions, quickly!
  • ANONYMITY: sometimes you really never know who is at the other end of an electronic text. In cyberspace, the identity behind what you see floating on the screen is not always what you imagine.
  • INTERACTIVITY: online communications technologies allow you to talk back. Interactivity inspires us to consider—access to the inner circle [everyone can be part of the discussion and step through the screen], capacity to talk back [form communities of common interest], a two-way presence online [the lure of an audience of millions], ecommerce and connections to the customer [ways for customers to interact with each other and with customer service], privacy [more interactive a site, the greater the potential for privacy problems]

I mention this tonight to call attention to the first two traits. The speed with which news of Steve Jobs death has spread across Twitter and Facebook is astounding. And many of the “RIP” messages and memorials exemplify the reach he and Apple products have had over the years.

Apple.com now looks like this:



with the following call on http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/: “If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com.”

Google and Wired already have tributes up as well, but I’m most interested in seeing what Apple does with the emails it receives. Online memorials & crisis communications are very interesting to me…I’ll write more on this as the news emerges.