Bauman, M.L. . “The Evolution of Internet Genres.” Computers and Composition 16 (1999): 269-82. Print.

Abstract:  New Internet writing environments differ significantly from print forms. They allow texts to evolve—to change their  purpose and audience over time. They allow for new forms of collaboration—texts organize themselves without an omniscient editor shaping them. As a profession, we need to understand and experiment with these forms.

  • Genres are composed of many elements, including “text features, the social situation in which texts are produced, and the motives or exigencies that drive their production” (270).  Bauman seems to be touching on Form + Medium + Function/Substance here if we can agree that “the social situation in which texts are produced” is roughly analogous to medium . . .
  • B. claims that internet genres are intrinsically tied to the medium, noting that genres are “the logical and inevitable result of the ability to create hypertexts for the Internet” (273).
  • B. recognizes ubiquity, collaboration, and circulation/immediacy (though she doesn’t use that language) as core components of internet-based texts.  She notes that these different qualities make Internet genres a completely different animal (273).  A productive conversation/thing to consider is how these qualities relate to Berkenkotter & Huckin’s 5 qualities of genre and the Form+Medium+Substance equation.

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