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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
Unformatted Document Text:  Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers 3 conceptualization of interactivity comes from a mechanical perspective that considers interactivity a property of the medium (Ha and James 1998). For example, Steuer’s (1992) computer-mediated communication model defines interactivity as "the extent to which users can participate in modifying the form and content of a mediated environment in real time”. In a business setting, interactivity tends to be seen as the "combination of rich content, active intelligence, collaborative communications to create a compelling consumer experience" (Robb et al., 1997). Heeter (1989) positioned that interactivity was associated with both the structure of the medium such as available choices, and the processes of communication such as responsiveness to the user and facilitating of interpersonal communication. Recently, the debate is on what aspect of interactivity is more useful and important to Internet users. Different purposes and tasks require different levels of interactivity. Some literature bases their conception of interactivity on the definition by Heeter (Massey and Levy, 1999; McMillan, 1998); others follow the interpretation of interactivity by Rafaeli and Sudweeks (Morris & Ogan, 1996; Schultz, 1999; Coyle and Thorson, 2001). Following the conceptualization of interactivity by Heeter and Rafaeli and Sudweeks, two dimensions of interactivity of online journalism take shape (Massey and Levy, 1999). One is interpersonal interactivity; the other is content interactivity. Interpersonal Interactivity Outing (1998, b) considers sites that excel at interactivity are those that “facilitate communication between human beings,” those that excel at interpersonal interactivity. In the online newspaper world, some of the tools are most often recommended by experts that contribute to interpersonal interactivity characteristics of a Web news site include

Authors: Qian, Zeng. and Li, Xigen.
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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
3
conceptualization of interactivity comes from a mechanical perspective that considers
interactivity a property of the medium (Ha and James 1998). For example, Steuer’s
(1992) computer-mediated communication model defines interactivity as "the extent to
which users can participate in modifying the form and content of a mediated environment
in real time”. In a business setting, interactivity tends to be seen as the "combination of
rich content, active intelligence, collaborative communications to create a compelling
consumer experience" (Robb et al., 1997). Heeter (1989) positioned that interactivity
was associated with both the structure of the medium such as available choices, and the
processes of communication such as responsiveness to the user and facilitating of
interpersonal communication.
Recently, the debate is on what aspect of interactivity is more useful and
important to Internet users. Different purposes and tasks require different levels of
interactivity. Some literature bases their conception of interactivity on the definition by
Heeter (Massey and Levy, 1999; McMillan, 1998); others follow the interpretation of
interactivity by Rafaeli and Sudweeks (Morris & Ogan, 1996; Schultz, 1999; Coyle and
Thorson, 2001). Following the conceptualization of interactivity by Heeter and Rafaeli
and Sudweeks, two dimensions of interactivity of online journalism take shape (Massey
and Levy, 1999). One is interpersonal interactivity; the other is content interactivity.
Interpersonal Interactivity
Outing (1998, b) considers sites that excel at interactivity are those that “facilitate
communication between human beings,” those that excel at interpersonal interactivity. In
the online newspaper world, some of the tools are most often recommended by experts
that contribute to interpersonal interactivity characteristics of a Web news site include


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