Thursday, January 10, 2008

Collaboration, interaction and narrative - thoughts on a new project

My research so far has suggested to me that the collaborative potential of web 2.0 may have far reaching implications for generating new story forms. What is needed is a much more detailed, empirical and text-based analysis that complements the theoretical study of interaction and digital affordances. My work on cancer blogs suggests that the capacity to interact with an online audience has a pragmatic impact on the development of narrative structure, leading to what I have described as a ‘Reflective Anecdote’. But other types of interaction are possible, such as a more writerly interaction that you’d find on a wiki-novel, or a spatial and culturally oriented sense of collaboration made possible through GPS mapping. This morning I read through the draft of a chapter written for the new collection (New Narratives: Theory and Practice) that I’m co-editing with Bronwen Thomas. In this chapter, Brian Greenspan describes fascinating work which brings together aboriginal storylines and a live hypertextual experience in geophysical space of an Australian city. It reminded me that if I’m going to theorise collaboration and interaction (buzzwords of the web 2.0) then there are many facets to this, cultural, political and gendered that exist in many media in the offline world as well as online.



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