There has been some discussion of the Wired article regarding the "end of cyberspace" here and here. I suppose the term is played out, and if William Gibson can pronounce it dead, the rest of us can go with that. However, I think the fact that cyberspace is dead makes it all the more interesting. What does dead mean here anyway? That the term can't be monetized anymore? That it doesn't close the deal on the latest dot com vaporware? That there's some uncomfortable disconnect between cyberspace and our experience of technology? Cool. Sign me up.
Now it is the case that I teach a course titled "Writing in Cyberspace." I didn't invent the name, but I haven't taken the opportunity to change the title when I've had it. I first taught the course in 2002, and I thought the title was dated then. However, I find something appealing about the blasted futurity it connotes. The term reminds us that futurity has a half-life. Hearing the word cyberspace is like watching The Jetsons or the original Star Trek (huge magnetic tapes roll, lights flash, a whirring sound, then a robotic voice working...working...).
Gibson described his invention of the term as "neologistic spasm." I think of it as a kenning: cybernetics references steering/navigation, so I suppose it is already spatial in a sense. But I also think of Derrida discussing cybernetics as challenging the phonocentric conception of language. Text is spatial. It is simply that cyberspace is not delimited by a horizon. It is haptic. Again, as Gibson writes, cyberspace is "consensual hallucination." This also reminds me of the pharmacological aspect of Derrida and later Ulmer's approach to writing.
Either way, like Jeff, I am curious over the perceived need to "replace" the term cyberspace. I guess most people use cyberspace interchangeably with the Internet, the Net, the Web, and maybe with Virtual Reality. Obviously that means we already have replacement terms.
The important point here though is that cyberspace was coined before the technology it came to designate was invented. The term was meant to estrange, to create a poetic vision of a sublime encounter with information that could only be acheived through flatlining, through a near-death experience. And now after two decades of commodification, cyberspace strikes us as strange once more.
Welcome home, cyberspace.