In the introduction, Coley summarizes the goal of each chapter, and he also carefully defines the terminology he uses throughout his text. He points out that "digital media" and "new media" are terms that often become conflated in composition scholarship. He prefers the term "digital media" to "new media" and defines digital media as tools that "represent a range of digital technologies appearing primarily in the last 20 years, which are typically manipulated by users, communal, free, multimodal, participatory, and accessible via the internet" (5). Examples include blogs, social networks, and YouTube.
He is also clear to define the term ethics as it is to be understood in his book. He writes, "Ethics is defined here as a theory of moral conduct, related to proper actions, attitudes, right and wrong, and notions of virtue and morality…Ethics is the theory through which we make decisions based on our individual circumstances, the theory that guides our understanding of whether a particular action or attitude is moral or virtuous (right) or whether it is immoral or vicious (wrong)" (6). Thus, digital media ethics, for Coley, consitutes a theory of moral conduct to be analyzed in relation to composing with digital media. The detailed definitions in the introduction prepare Coley's readers for Chapter 1's call for ethical literacy in digital media composing.