Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 14:20:34 -0500 From: Allan Metcalf Subject: e-usage survey declined The question was, Should ADS be officially involved in the survey of e-usage? Thanks for your input earlier this month. Your replies were mixed, and the ADS Executive Council voted to decline official participation, the greatest concern being our practice of not endorsing commercial activities of any sort. That does not mean, however, that we are expressing any opposition to the project. I am asking Mr. Bruner to keep us informed about the survey and its results. And now I will reprint his initial inquiry, inviting subscribers to our list to respond directly to his request for suggestions. - Allan Metcalf, ADS Executive Secretary ------------------------------------------- Proposal for Standard Press Styles of Internet Terminology and invitation for participation Background The birth of the World Wide Web in the fall of 1993 brought the power and promise of global networking to the masses. With the Internet as its poster child, the press community began intensely to examine and report on the state of the online world. Since then, the Internet has become a social phenomenon that has found its way in every publication from Computerworld to Cosmopolitan. Given the Internet's rise in social prominence (a stature that has garnered literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of clips in the past two years), it is disheartening that the journalistic community has not been able to arrive at standard conventions for common Net-related terms. For example, which is the correct spelling? E-mail or Email or e-mail or email The American Heritage Dictionary says "E-mail." The Oxford English Dictionary says "email." Wired magazine writes "e-mail." Many publications, however, are routinely inconsistent within their own pages. PROPOSAL Traditionally, styles on spelling and usage are established only after words have been in common use for years. The momentum of the digital age, however, has forced copy editors and language pundits to consider standards for a whole new lexicon sometimes mere months after the words are coined. In the true spirit of "interactivity" which the Internet embodies, Niehaus Ryan Haller proposes to let those who use the words -- the online community itself -- contribute to determining their spelling standards. The event will be a World Wide Web survey, widely promoted across the Internet, as well as in the popular and professional journalism press. The survey will be hosted for several weeks on a Web page with a polling technology, containing a list of word choices for Netizens to vote among and add comments as desired. At the close of the survey period, the results would again be promoted broadly across the Internet and journalist communities. The project represents a unique opportunity for those who set journalistic standards to get feedback first from readers themselves. Co-sponsors of the endeavor currently include Fitzgerald Communications; PR Newswire; Ziff Davis;, an online financial services review; GeoSystems, a mapping software firm; and Release Software, a company that offers an online auto-payment solution for software developers. In addition to these, we are eagerly seeking other interested companies in the high tech industry and journalistic institutions to join in endorsing the project. Just as Netscape benefited in being an industry leader behind standards when it created HTML tags and then submitted them to the Internet Engineering Task Force for standards approval, participants in this standards drive can benefit as being active leaders in the formation of how the Internet affects the everyday person. Sponsors are in name only. If you would like to lend your name in support of the survey, the polling Web site would contain a link to your URL. Below, please find a list of potential terms to be included on the survey. Please suggest any additional terms, likely to be used in the popular press, which routinely present confusion. Potential Terms for Survey * Note use of capitalization (Noun) Cyberspace or cyberspace or Cyber-space or cyber-space (Noun & Verb) E-mail or Email or e-mail or email (Noun) Homepage or homepage or Home Page or Home page or home page or Home-page or Home-Page or home-page (Noun, abreviation of Internet) Net or 'Net or net or 'net (Prepositional phrase, as in "Check out our site xxx") on-line or online or on line (Adjective) on-line or online or on line (Prepositional phrase, as in "Check out this imagexxx") on-screen or onscreen or on screen (Adjective) on-screen or onscreen or on screen (Noun, abreviation of World Wide Web) Web or web or WWW (Noun) Web page or Web Page or Webpage or webpage or Web-page or web-page (Noun) Web site or Web Site or Website or website or Web-site or web-site Rick Bruner Niehaus Ryan Haller Public Relations Tel: (415) 827-7058 Fax: (415) 615-7902 bruner[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (