The purpose and the mission of the Center for Society and Cyberstudies was to observe, analyze and discuss issues that impacted society's use of connected technologies. This observation has going beyond the simple discussion of Internet and desktop computing.
The Center for Society and Cyberstudies was originally founded in 2000 as a non-profit educational resource for the observation, recording and analysis of cyber crime and e-culture phenomena. The Center's main function was to create awareness in how "e-crime" and "e-culture" would crossover into the real world and what impact that crossover would have.
The first version of the website for the Center was a gathering of web resources in the fields of e-crimes, e-culture and Internet news. The current focus is a broader academic analysis of the arena of cyberculture, while including the references to the history of the field.
The Center's first executive director was Jennifer Mueser Bunker, who was a voice in preparing the United States for the transition into the 21st century in the field of data protection, infrastructure systems and virtual communities.
Shane Tilton is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University and he is the Director of Electronic Media at Ohio University Lancaster. His research interests center on exploring the future role of communication technologies within society, the wider impact the bridge between real world interactions and virtual interactions will have on the world and how the issues of the digital divide impact that connection. Prior to being director, he worked with the Game Research and Immersive Design lab (GRID Lab), a research center responsible for working on simulations and training programs for U.S. Government. He has a M.A. in telecommunications from Ohio University and an B.A. in communication from Muskingum College.
David Gurzick is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Management at Hood College, where he teaches courses in the management of information systems, analytical methods, and socially responsible management. In his research, he explores how online communities and other social media can be designed to enable meaningful reflection, promote competency awareness and building, and facilitate peer-to-peer support. He is also a research partner with the Institute for National Security Education and Research (INSER) at the University of Washington. With INSER he is studying collaboration and group behavior in alternate reality games – investigating the practices through which game players share support and knowledge with one another as they work to advance the plot of the game. Dr. Gurzick has a B.S. in computer science from Frostburg State University, an M.S. in Computer Science from Hood College, and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Erika Pearson is a lecturer at the Department of Media, Film and Communication at the University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her research interests cover a broad range of areas, centering around questions of identity and community in online and mediated spaces. Currently, her research is focused on the use of avatars and userpictures in social networking sites to construct performances of individual and social identity online. She was awarded her PhD from Curtin University (Internet Studies) in Perth, Western Australia, and is the founder of the Internet Research Group of Otago.
Kris M. Markman is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Memphis. She holds Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests center around people's everyday uses of new technologies, particularly as they relate to language & social interaction, participation in online communities, and new forms of media production. She works primarily from a qualitative ethnomethodological perspective, particularly that of conversation analysis. Recent projects include a survey of independent audio podcasters and research on English emoticons and Japanese kaomiji in computer-mediated discourse.