“what counts as writing”

Noting that we frequently ask students to composing in web 2.0 platforms and applications, we lack an understanding of what counts as writing in a web 2.0 environment: “How do the vocabularies, functionalities, and organizing structures of Web 2.0 environments impact our understanding of what writing is in these spaces and how that writing is performed?”

Wolff then conducts a study to catalog the functions and writing spaces in 2.0 applications and identify the similarities among those spaces. Through his study, Wolff notes that web 2.0 comes with some pragmatic challenges which include: learning new vocabularies, recognizing characteristics of writing spaces that contain multiple symbiotic genres, thinking about relationships between applications, and transferring know-how across applications

Wolff concludes that writing in a web 2.0 environment necessitates:

  • An understanding of new terms and signs in context (feed, module, page, widget)
  • An understanding of the functionality of the space
  • Prior knowledge of multiple applications, how to install them, and how they work across platforms
  • The ability to recognize when applications have changes and what the consequences of those changes are
  • The ability to recognize when to use what applications in context of a particular action (such as, finding, retrieving, storing, and accessing information)
  • An understanding of when to use which mode of composition (image, video, audio, alphabetic text, code)

KEY IDEA: because of web 2.0 interactivity, a text acts more like a game than the printed page, necessitating a way of thinking about applications and platforms as having a set of common features

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