Participatory Media Literacy

Hello all! I just checked the transliteracies project blog at UCSB and note that it is all about reading online in different ways. To me, literacies are two-way — they include skills in creating as well as consuming. To that end, I've been compiling resources about participatory media literacies on a wiki. Sue has been adding transliteracy material. If anyone is interested in write privileges there, let me know.

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8 thoughts on “Participatory Media Literacy

  1. Welcome Howard! Great to have you with us. Your comment about reading being a one-way process is interesting. I suspect a lot of my colleagues in English would dispute that assertion because they see the reader as creating something from the text (knowledge and understanding) rather than only consuming it. This leads me to wonder whether transliteracy needs to always have a communal / collaborative aspect or whether it is possible to be a solo transliterate (!). I think it must be.

  2. Hi Howard. Thanks for writing.
    I’m just mulling over the idea that reading online is one-way. Narratologists have told us that reading is always about a creation (most notably Iser who explains that reading is an act of filling in blanks) and, from my point of view, online reading seems to be more obviously about a dialogue between readers and writers or producers and consumers. I think this kind of interaction is part of transliteracy, where for some born digital instantiations collaboration is the key to the work (whether it’s E-Bay, an online fiction, blogging via comments, or wikis). Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your conception of creation (as more than in the “narrative act”)?

  3. Hi Howard,
    I share the view that the skills needed to create are as important to look at that as those needed to read… even (or especially) when those skills overlap as widely as they do in say a wiki, where the ability to read is only half the story (sorry!). Production And Reception in Transliteracy?

  4. Thanks for the welcome, Sue, Jess, and Chris. I think of the web as a medium that is specifically designed for many to many communication. The printing press was, by its nature, made to be operated by few, and print was designed to be read by many. Although the ability to write was widespread in the Gutenberg era, the ability to publish was limited. Online, the ability to create an email, a blog post, a website is part of the medium, and hundreds of millions of people have done so. So I think of the capacity to create as part of online reading — even if we don’t all create texts, and most of us spend more time reading than writing, the affordance is right there in front of us, and part of the reading function is to recognize that I can type into this Comments box and click “post,” and know that my comment will be read by others.

  5. Hi Howard,
    As someone with a background in folklore I’m interested in vernacular creativity and its relationship to tradition; I’m particularly interested in online folk expression.
    Nominally anyone can tell a folktale and there is no established text for any given folktale. The Grimms and Disney notwithstanding. It seems to me that web2.0 is recreating the folk milieu within new technology. Nowadays anyone with certain technology can watch or create a video on YouTube though, as with folktales, most people are happy to watch rather than create.
    Consequently, I think the point about transliteracy covering both the creation and reception of media seems very important.
    I suspect also that web2.0 recreates the sense of an immanent audience through the integration of comments. Posting a video on YouTube potentially enters you into a dialogue with your known audience (friends and other contacts) and maybe a broader audience who might comment.
    This is basically me thinking out loud but I suspect that a part of transliteracy is about understanding web2.0 texts (broadly defined) as performative. So that it’s not just one-way/two-way reading/writing but that every reading is potentially a re-writing. I wonder if it could be seen that part of commenting in a blog is an attempt to reframe the blog entry. Might be part of the reason why so many blog comments are about other blog comments.
    The Guardian does a humorous column every week where a fake blog entry is made and then fake comments spin off into chaos. Speaking of spinning off into chaos

  6. Hi Bruce — I think of literacies as having two components (a la Neil Postman): the knowledge of how to decode and encode, and the community that such knowledge grants entrance. The affordances of technologies, as you point out, make a big difference: it’s a heck of a lot easier to comment on a YouTube video and even publish a video in reply than it is to publish a book in reply to another book. Please provide a link to the Guardian column when a good one comes along!

  7. Right to reply – Embrace the Textual Revolution

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  8. Right to reply – Embrace the Textual Revolution

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