The Prevalence of Web Metaphors

Project Proposal, by Zach Tomaszewski

for CIS 703, Fall 2003, taught by Dr. Elizabeth Davidson

I would like to determine what metaphors are used to describe using the Web, and the relevant prevalence of each such metaphor. To do this, I propose doing an archival study of a sample of published literature describing how to use or build the World Wide Web. Such a study will likely involve two phases. First, a small body of literature would have to be examined to determine what metaphors exist in the first place. Then a broader (electronic?) search would be used to find the details of when those metaphors occur--how frequently, in what sorts of audiences/user groups, and how the frequency of different metaphor use has changed over time.