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How To Read This Book

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This new book is a book about a new technology-enabled society in the making.

It is emerging literally as we speak, because this book is about the Interaction

Society, i.e., a society where modern information technology plays a central

role in supporting all various kinds of human interaction including, e.g., humanto-

human voice communication, human-machine interaction, mass communication,

long-distance synchronous and asynchronous communication, etc. In particular,

this book is about information technology (IT) or information and communication

technologies (ICTs) that enable us as humans to communicate or

interact with one another in ways not possible just a few years ago.

The book consists of three parts. These three parts can be read independent of

each other, but also of course as a single book from the first page to the last.

The first part, or segment of the book, is labeled “Practice.” This first part

introduces the reader to this emerging Interaction Society by providing a set of

illustrative case studies that specifically, and from an empirical standpoint, provides

valuable examples of how modern information technology can support

new ways of interaction. The second part of the book is labeled “Theories.”

This second part of the book takes on a more conceptual, analytical, and theoretical

perspective in an attempt to bring out and provide some answers to

questions like, e.g., what characterizes the Interaction Society? How does it

differ from the “information society” typically, and commonly, discussed in the

literature? And, how might the very concept of “interaction” be defined and

how does it relate to concepts like “communication?” Further on, this second

part of this book provides some analytical frameworks and analytical tools for

going about analyzing how modern information technology enables the Interaction

Society and which issues it puts in the foreground. Finally, the third part of

the book is labeled “Supportive Technologies.” This part is devoted to the

advancing of and research into designing new IT support to enable us to, in the

near future, be able to communicate in even more sophisticated and novel ways

then ever imagined before. In contrast to the first part of the book, which

provides some good examples of already available technologies and how these

implemented and adopted technologies enables us to communicate and interact

in new ways, this third part of the book lets us take a look around the corner to

see what the future holds for us. Shortly speaking, it is about the cutting edge of

the emerging Interaction Society in the making.

Each of these three parts of the book is first introduced with a short preface

that introduces the scope and perspective taken by the contributing authors of

the part before each individual chapter is introduced.