Margaret Bates

Why did you first get online?
I used an intranet at Citibank as a VP in the Humanware department, from 1989 to 1991; at Downtown Digital, in the early 90’s, I used AOL.
When did you first get involved with digital and why?
My first involvement with digital was producing computer-assisted video discs in the 80’s.  One project was for RCA labs so workers could train & meet  OSHA requirements on chemical safety. In one lesson, the video showed a worker using chemicals & the digital overlay asked the trainee to touch any clothing that didn’t meet OSHA requirements.
How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990’s (or 80’s etc).
In the early 80’s after graduate school, my first project was the interactive IBM Heritage videodisc. It was analog, but I became fascinated with interactive technology. I worked as a researcher and then scriptwriter and went on to write scripts and project manage for Videodisc Publishing.  It was an exciting time working in organizations such as IICS and later NYNMA. Then I learned a lot at the bank about interface design, working on projects to help both internal & external clients develop ways to invest discretionary income. The most exciting project in the early 90’s was RCTV/Downtown Digital, AT&T’s pioneering interactive television project. I was director of production for a trial  and then I focused the the web as director of new business development. Following that I had a brief stint at THINK New Ideas, and learned about marketing after so much R&D work.
I’ve always been interested in teaching, and during that time taught about videodisc development and then interactive television at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. I went on to teach full time at City College, including classes on web development.
What do think the future will hold internet/digital?
I think everything points to even more use of mobile screens since there are so many apps that let you do everything from finding your way to a restaurant to ordering groceries to make meals at home. Right now I can see on the Internet if there are any washing machines available in the basement – if only I could actually do the wash virtually & remotely! Social networking will take over email completely for all demographics, not just teens.

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