The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia - Brief Review
.: The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia, is an ambitious three-volume set published by ABC-CLIO. This encyclopedia is a "major expansion of the RUSA-award winning predecessor", History of the Internet: a Chronology, 1843 to the Present, by Christos J.P. Moschovitis, Hilary Poole, Tami Schuyler, and Theresa M. Senft. The 312 page title was one of the ALA's Reference and User Services Association's 2000 Outstanding Reference Sources. Rather than increase the size of the previous single volume, the editors and authors chose to separate the issues, history, and biography components into their own volumes for the 2005 edition.
Volume I: Biographies, was written by Laura Lambert, and contains 41 entries on 44 personalities critical to the development of the internet. Those chosen for inclusion are not limited to pioneers associated with technological developments only: for example, Lambert includes biographies of science fiction writers William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, lawyer and professor Lawrence Lessig, and of course, Marshall McLuhan. Other entries include noted hackers John T. Draper (Cap'n Crunch) and Kevin Mitnick, Napster founder Shawn Fanning, and the usual suspects: Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee, Marc Andreesen, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, et al. Each entry is from 4-7 pages, and includes suggestions for further readings, works by the subject if available, books and articles about the subject, and related websites.
Volume II: Issues, was written by Chris Woodford, and has 35 entries on a wide range of topics, including: Activism and the Internet, Cookies, Cyberterrorism, Data Mining, Digital Libraries, E-books, Education and the Internet, Hackers, Internet Broadcasting, Online Communities, Open Source, P2P Networks, Spam, and Wireless Internet. At 283 pages, this is the largest of the three volumes, with entries between six and ten pages in length. For each entry, Woodford provides background, a brief history, trends, and controversies and responses. Sidebars include additional information. For example, the E-books entry includes sidebars on E-ink and SmartPaper, and E-book Horror Stories. Blogs did not warrant their own entry, but instead are included in the section, Journalism and the Internet. I was surprised that social software components such as instant messaging, social bookmarking and tagging, wikis, photo sharing, online interest groups, social networking, user forums, RSS, and even search engines such as Google and Yahoo, receive little coverage in this volume.