RE: [-empyre-] digital writing


Last year I wrote an article for trAce about the way the oral tradition
manifests itself in the digital world. It's called 'Walter Ong and the
problem of writing about LambdaMOO' and can be found at

In relation to the way blogging works, the mode of transmission and the way
it binds people together is often more interesting than the content itself,
rather like the way redundancy is built into conversations to act as a kind
of social cement. At the Writing and the Digital Life blog for instance I regularly look at the public website
to view the subtext of the interactions - who is logging on from where, for
how long etc - because this displays the ongoing navigational, relationship
between the site and its users - their body language. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Barrie Collins
To: empyre mailing list
Sent: 10/13/2005 1:53 AM
Subject: [-empyre-] digital writing

oral tradition has an important social and cultural function, the
word and story passes down through generations, perhaps evolving over
like a giant, mutating meme. blogs have an evolutionary nature,
conversations evolving over time, branching out. oral tradition requires
story teller to carry on the tradition and pass it on, while blogging
many participating in the story and a widely distributed audience.

participating in a blog is textually flat or cold sort of experience
the audience distributed over a large area and rarely in physical and/or
visual contact, whereas oral tradition requires a face to face audience,
facial expression, gesture, anthropic signals, the exchange is visceral.

what does oral tradition transmit? how does this compare to blogging?

oral tradition is story telling in a cultural setting, it is inclusive
everything in a particular culture. words, sounds and gesture.

blogging seems much more generalised, sometimes focussed, sometimes
diverse. it reflects the cultures of its participants and there are many
cultures because it is global. words and type and flickering vdu's.

we are dancing our stories in different ways today.


empyre forum

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.