[Air-L] History of AIR-L

Jeremy Hunsinger jeremy at tmttlt.com
Thu Feb 15 07:38:41 PST 2018

I was slightly before 2000 as I think my first email message was in 1999,
and we organized the conference for 2000, which is why the conference
number was always off by 1 year, because we counted conference in 2000 as
1.0  thus 2001's conference was 2.0 and apparently people found that to be
too irritating to sustain after 16 in 15.

The founding story is found the proceedings of AoIR's first few
conferences.  and It goes back to a conference at Drake University by Thom
Swiss and colleagues.  Many of the founders were there.

AIR-l was founded after that  conference.  the
https://web.archive.org/web/19991012214940/http://aoir.org:80/  is the
famous bumblebee page with some of this information on it also.

https://web.archive.org/web/20010204100100/http://aoir.org:80/ is the first
organizational AoIR page, designed by Charlie.

as you'll see air-l was always there:) However, we don't have permanent
archives on archive.org until we migrated to mailman, steve ran it on his
office computer with listserv and i ran it at the cddc on mailman.

On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 10:09 AM, Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki <
tkach at japan.email.ne.jp> wrote:

> Hi, all,
> I can add to Charlie's recollections (hi, Charlie!).
> I believe that the group of people that he mentioned were those that
> attended a workshop in June 2000 at the Annenberg School of Communication,
> University of Pennsylvania. The workshop was organized by Kirsten Foot (now
> University of Washington) and Steven Schneider (still in New York?). [Hi!
> How are you!?!]
> I think that Kirsten and Steve were doing post-docs at the time. The main
> focus of the workshop was comparative analysis of political actor websites
> (mainly political parties and candidates), and they were working towards
> their concept of "websphere" in terms of how political actors involved in
> campaigning via the Internet were using websites.
> As for me, I was invited to the workshop because I was doing a comparative
> website content analysis of Japanese political party websites from the June
> 2000 general election. I found out about the workshop initially through
> some listserv, emailed Steve Schneider about my methodology, and he invited
> me.
> Attendees? I believe that there were about 13 or 15 people at the
> workshop. Klaus was there, and so was Nick Jankowski. I especially remember
> talking with Nick about how to theorize the political Internet. I met
> Jennifer Stromer-Galley either there or in Kansas the year after at the
> first AoIR conference. She was a grad student at the time.
> I remember towards the end of the symposium that we had a roundtable
> discussion, and one highly engaging topic was "Hey, we should have some
> kind of association for people who research the Internet!"
> Then, it seemed to take off from there, as someone knew Steve Jones and
> said "he'd be interested in something like this!" Other names that were
> mentioned were Nancy Baum in Kansas and Susan Herring. Someone said that we
> should contact Nancy Baum and have a conference at the University of
> Kansas. That was the first AoIR.
> I've always thought that AoIR's conferences were the best -- ever since
> that first one in Kansas. (Nancy Baum is an amazing organizer!) And have
> tried to go as often as family and/or work permits.
> Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki, Associate Professor
> University of Tsukuba, Japan
> P.S. I was the Grad Student Rep on the Executive Board from 2001 to 2003
> (or 2002 to 2004?).
> On 2018/02/15 1:19, Charlie Breindahl wrote:
>> The first I heard about AoIR was when professor Klaus Bruhn Jensen came
>> back to Copenhagen from a conference somewhere and mentioned that a group
>> of people were considering forming an association for internet researchers.
>> I think this must have been in the late spring of 1999. He gave me some
>> names and I probably sent an email asking how I could help. As you know,
>> the first Internet Research conference was organized by Nancy Baym and held
>> in Lawrence, Kansas, in October 2000. AIR-L must have been up and running
>> some time before this.
>> I think Steve Jones, our first president, created AIR-L. I think it ran
>> on an iMac in his office, possibly on mailman list management software. We
>> later changed to LISTSERV, perhaps in connection with changing servers.
>> I managed AIR-L from about 1999 or 2000 until Holly Kruse took over in
>> 2004. Feel free to contact me. It was an exciting time!
>> All the best,
>> Charlie
>> _______________________________________________
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jeremy hunsinger
Associate Professor
Communication Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University

Collaboratory for Digital Discourse and Culture
Virginia Tech

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