THE NETORIC PROJECT
Begun in the spring of 1993, the Netoric Project is a series
of real-time discussions, conferences, and workshops for those
who use computers in teaching writing. The Netoric Project
provides the computers and writing community with an ongoing
forum for professional development and collaboration. Not
only does the project regularly bring together geographically
distant colleagues; it also promotes the value of networked
communication many of us advance in our own classrooms.
Events are held in various rooms of the Netoric Complex on
MediaMOO*. Participants connect to MediaMOO, go to the
scheduled room, and talk to each other in real time. To
participate, all you need is the ability to telnet and the
attached MediaMOO Guide for Netoric Guests. As well as
special events, Netoric coordinates weekly informal
discussions, held on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time at
Tuesday Cafe. Topics for Netoric events and discussions are
announced on the MBU (MegaByte University, Computers and
Writing) listserv and on information boards in the Netoric
Headquarters and the Tuesday Cafe on MediaMOO.
The Netoric Complex on MediaMOO consists of the Netoric
Headquarters, three conference rooms, the Tuesday Cafe,
and the NHQ Media Center and Library. You can go to any
of Netoric's rooms by connecting to MediaMOO, entering
@GO NETORIC HEADQUARTERS, and using the various exits
listed in the room description of the headquarters. In
the headquarters are several information boards. In the
NHQ Media Center and Library (@GO NETORIC HEADQUARTERS;
then DOWN), you'll find a slide show explaining the Netoric
Project, as well as other objects of interest. Simply
examine the objects in the Netoric Complex to see explanations
of how to use them (the attached guide explains how to examine
objects in MediaMOO).
Netoric logs all of its events and the logs are available to
anyone interested. To see the list of logs available as well as
information on how to obtain copies of those logs, go to the
NHQ Media Center and Library and look at our catalogues.
These catalogues, recent logs, announcements of upcoming
events, and other Netoric documents are also available on
the Netoric gopher site. To reach these resources, gopher to
daedalus.com and follow the directory Alliance for Computers
and Writing to the Netoric directory.
The Netoric Project is coordinated by Greg Siering of Ball
State University and Tari Fanderclai of the University of
Louisville, with help from many of our colleagues across the
country. We welcome inquiries about the project and
suggestions for Netoric events and discussion topics. E-mail
Tari at [log in to unmask] or Greg at [log in to unmask]
(On MediaMOO, Greg is known as GregS; Tari is Tari.)
*"MOO" stands for MUD, Object Oriented, and a MUD is a
Multi-User Dimension--a site that allows users to connect
through telnet or other clients. MUDs offer users a
text-based virtual reality and the ability to communicate
in real time. A good source of beginning information
about MUDs is the FAQs from the various newsgroups on MUDs.
Many of those FAQs are also stored at the ftp site
ftp.math.okstate.edu in pub/muds/misc/mud-faq and at
rtfm.mit.edu in the news.answers archives. MediaMOO is a
MOO based at M.I.T. and used by media researchers to share
ideas and collaborate on projects. An important note about
MediaMOO is that it is not one of the MUDs that permit
teachers to bring in their students. For more information
about MediaMOO's purpose and policies, connect to MediaMOO
as a guest and enter HELP PURPOSE.
MEDIAMOO GUIDE FOR NETORIC GUESTS
CONNECTING TO MEDIAMOO:
To get to MediaMOO, telnet to either of these addresses:
Ask locally (try your HelpDesk or equivalent) if you don't
know how to telnet on your system.
After entering the address, you'll get a screen that says
"Welcome to MediaMOO." There, enter:
You'll be told what guest character you've connected to
(Guest or Some-Color_Guest).
(If instead of the MediaMOO welcome screen, you get stuck
at "SunOS UNIX (microworld)" followed by "login:," either
you forgot to enter the port number--the 8888--or you need
to ask locally to find out how to enter the port number so
that your system will use it.)
OPTIONAL SUGGESTION FOR NETORIC GUESTS:
When you connect to a guest character to attend a Netoric
event, you may want to identify yourself to others at the
event. You can't change the name of the guest character
you're using, but you can change its description. To do
@describe me as <Your name, etc.>
Example: @describe me as Jane Smith from University
Put anything you like in the description. When you press
<Enter>, whatever you've typed so far will be entered as your
description, so don't press <Enter> until you're finished.
After describing yourself, enter:
You'll see the description you set. To change the
description, repeat the @describe process. Don't feel
obligated to put your name on a guest character if you
prefer to remain anonymous. Any description you set will
be removed from the guest character when you leave MediaMOO.
FINDING OTHERS ON MEDIAMOO:
To find other people, from wherever you are, you can enter:
You'll see a list of those logged in and their current
locations. Notice how long a character has been idle--
someone who's been idle for awhile probably isn't paying
attention and won't see you or hear you if you try to join
or talk to him/her.
MOVING AROUND IN MEDIAMOO:
If you see someone you know on the @who list, you can enter:
@join <character's name>
Example: @join Tari
You'll teleport to that character's location. When you
arrive, you'll see a description of the room and a list of
If you know the name of the room you want to go to, enter:
@go <name of place>
Example: @go Tuesday Cafe
If you get a message saying you can't go to a particular
place, you probably tried to go to a locked room. Just pick
a different place to go or a different character to join.
Many rooms have lists of "obvious exits" followed by names
of rooms they lead to. You can walk to those rooms by
entering the names of the exits. For example, in the Netoric
Headquarters, you can enter <down> to go to the NHQ Media
Center and Library; <up> to go to the Tuesday Cafe, <west>
to go to the Alexandria Conference Room; etc.
COMMUNICATING WITH OTHER CHARACTERS:
When you see another character, you can talk to him/her by
typing a <"> followed by what you want to say; for example,
you might enter:
"Hello. I'm new here and need some help.
When you enter such a line, the other characters in the room
with you will see your character's name, followed by what you
To show action, type a <:> and then the verb phrase for what
you want to do, like this:
:smiles and waves.
When you enter such a line, the other characters in the room
will see your character's name, followed by the action you
You can page or whisper to another character, and only the
character you page or whisper to will see your message. You
can whisper to a character only if s/he is in the same room
as you; you can page any character who is connected, no matter
where in the MOO s/he is.
To page a character, enter:
page <character's name> <message>
Example: page Tari Help--I'm stuck in the LEGO Closet!
To whisper to a character, enter:
whisper "<message>" to <character's name>
Example: whisper "Whew--I finally got out of that
closet!" to GregS
LOOKING AT CHARACTERS, ROOMS, AND OBJECTS:
To see the self-description and list of research interests
of a character in the room with you, enter:
exam <character's name>
Example: exam GregS
To see a character's real name and e-mail address, enter this:
@whois <character's name>
Example: @whois Tari
To review the description of a room you're in, enter:
If in the room you're in you see an object you want to examine,
exam <name of object>
Example: exam NetoricSlides
Sometimes "exam" doesn't work; an object may not be a real
object, but just one a room's description asks you to imagine.
But often, examining objects lets you find objects you can use.
ON-LINE HELP IN MEDIAMOO:
To get general help while in MediaMOO, enter:
To get help with a specific command, enter:
help <command name>
Example: help whisper
If the response to "help <command name>" is "no help is
available" or "I don't understand that," try a different
word, or ask another character which word to use to get the
help screen you need.
Some help screens mention LambdaMOO, which was the first MOO
(and which is still going strong at lambda.parc.xerox.com 8888).
In some of MediaMOO's documentation, "LambdaMOO" has not been
changed to "MediaMOO." The information about commands, however,
There are a few help screens MediaMOO strongly encourages
first-time guests to read; to see them, enter these commands:
(Gives you general information)
(Explains the social code on MediaMOO)
(Explains the purpose and policies of MediaMOO)
To disconnect from MediaMOO, enter:
GETTING A MEDIAMOO CHARACTER:
While connected to MediaMOO, you can find out how to apply
for a MediaMOO character by entering:
NOTES ON INTERFACE PROBLEMS WHILE IN MEDIAMOO:
If your screen scrolls too fast or lines don't wrap or
extend off your screen, enter these commands while connected
to MediaMOO to find some possible solutions:
If following the instructions on those help screens doesn't
help, you'll need to ask locally for help with your individual
Some people find that they have no backspace in the MOO, or
they can enter only a couple of lines at a time, or they type
over other characters' lines when entering commands. Such
problems are products of your system, so you'll need to get
help locally. In the meantime, don't stay away--MOOers are
quite tolerant of bad typing and are willing to repeat
comments you may type over.
If you MOO regularly, you'll probably want to look into the
variety of free clients that are available for connecting to
MOOs and MUDs. Clients are a big improvement over raw telnet;
they offer you much more control over your MOO interface.
For example, using most clients, you type your commands in a
separate window so that what you are entering does not
interfere with your trying to follow the conversation.
While connected to MediaMOO, you can get information about
clients by entering:
If you don't find what you need there, send e-mail to Tari
Fanderclai at [log in to unmask] for a list of
MUD/MOO clients for various platforms and the ftp sites you
can download them from.
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A Virtual Community of Scholars in Computers and Composition
-- * --
Tari Fanderclai <[log in to unmask]>
Greg Siering <[log in to unmask]>