The Electronic Bulletin Board: A Computer-Driven Mass Medium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The public access electronic bulletin board is a medium which serves middle-sized audiences. It is a growing medium both in terms of audience size and in proliferation of outlets. Its public image has been charged with a mix of exaggerations. The present paper argues that the medium and its audiences deserve an investigation that precedes assumptions of positive or negative massive effects. Instead, its special participative and interactive nature prescribes a uses-and-gratifications approach to the study of motivations and actual use. In a survey of the participants in one such electronic bulletin board the findings paint a picture of quite extensive use, usually carried out for purposes other than those emphasized by either pessimists or optimists. The role of Ludenic (or play) motivation and behavior is given special attention in the context of studying the use of this computerized application as a medium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law


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