Welcome to Exchange Online, our full-featured interactive colloquium for SCE Members and visitors to the site. Running on the new SCE-owned Power Macintosh G3 server, Exchange Online uses the same Web Crossing conference technology as sites such as CNN, NPR, and the Excite Network.

Although extremely powerful and flexible, Exchange Online is an easily accessible and technically uncomplicated means for the Internet to facilitate new forms of inquiry as well as new topics to SCE members and the higher education community. Less technically cumbersome and more readily available than MOO or MUD rooms, and more structured than the ECOT format, we hope that Exchange Online will provide a magnet for important discussions, calls for papers, and opportunities for employment in higher education. Several Exchange Online forums focus directly on SCE projects--the NEC, IPCA and CofW--and are presided over by a moderator whose function is to shape discussion and ensure the lively flow of ideas. In addition, there are many unmoderated discussions which will accommodate a wide range of topics, sometimes leading to spin-off discussion areas as new subjects of investigation emerge.

Moreover, Exchange Online features an enhanced, smoother-running update of the Digital Disquisition, our exclusive synchronous (chat-based) forum. In the very near future, we will be scheduling regular meetings and look forward to featuring guest discussants on a wide variety of topics of interest.

We have envisioned these forum areas as the successor to the Electronic College of Theory, which will continue to exist, but in a less central capacity--as one college within an electronic university of theory, one might say. ECOT continues to function, and will continue to send postings on a regular basis. Those postings will digest the goings-on within the Website forums, and will provide a means for communication within the SCE membership.

We invite you, whether SCE member or not, to read through the forums and to contribute to them often. Because the discussions are largely asynchronous; you may respond to others whenever and as often as you like and should return frequently to answer responses to your comments. If you just wish to browse the discussions, feel free. If you'd like to contribute your thoughts, please register first. Exchange Online registration is designed to eliminate the need for re-typing your name and other information each time you compose a message or begin a new discussion. In addition, you may customize your personal settings, instantly read responses to your messages when you log in, and may change many other features of Exchange Online to your choosing.

We encourage you to register and to contribute widely. Registration is free to SCE members and non-members alike, and you only need to do it once. Once you register, just sign in whenever you come to the site, and you're ready to join the Exchange.


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