Communications of the Association for Information Systems


As the Web enters its third decade of existence, I draw attention to the need to better understand the Web as a potential reference case for how an information system transforms through incremental innovations, with particular focus on the Web’s advancement as a communication media platform. As a necessary research step in this quest, I critically examine whether one can use existing media capacity theories and media-related buzzwords (such as rich media, multimedia, hypermedia, social media) to characterize Web innovations as media. I examine and clarify these buzzwords’ origins, meanings, and relationship with media capacity theories. I also elucidate discrepancies between them. Via inductive reasoning, I synthesize three media capacity dimensions (sensibility support, interactivity support and logistical support) as potential framework for objective media characterization. Each dimension could metamorphize into individual theories or one theory (e.g., sensibility interactivity and logistical support theory (SILST)). I present these dimensions’ indicators and demonstrate three-dimensional typology of Web innovation milestones anchored on the three dimensions—a step forward in substantiating the framework’s applicability to media capacity characterization.





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