Alternative Discourse

Published July 1, 2007 by Dr. Tammy Powley

The weblog interface, as part of an evolving electronic apparatus, offers an easily accessible environment for alternative forms of discourse. Bloggers, working as digital archivists, all have various reasons for writing on-line, but most of them share the need for alternative space that allows them to work outside traditional institutions. This movement from ephemeral media to digital or hypermedia provides a new space for bloggers to experiment with nonlinear narratives.  Hypertext creates an interactive reading experience and does not dictate one prescribed method for reading. It becomes a medium for dissimilar ideas to work together in a layered narrative, a story that is not necessarily linear. By clicking on a web page hot link, other sources of text are mingled in with the original content, again weaving text into a new narrative. Differences in hardcopy and digital memory archiving are obvious. A hardcopy journal has a tactical element that a digital equivalent does not possess. However, along with having similar purposes of passing along information and documenting the past, both also share other qualities. For example, both use scraps of ideas woven together. The stories formed have a “narrative/iconic relationship” (Lanham 44).

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