Chapter 7. Interactions with readers through online specialised genres

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Success in written academic communication depends on the presence of elementsrelated to author-reader interactions which supplement propositionalinformation in the text, help readers reach the intended interpretation andshape the author’s identity. But is this claim equally valid for online genres?This new environment demands an adaptation of the role of authors, texts, andreaders concerning (a) a re-structuring of texts to fit the margins of the screen;(b) a new type of non-linear structure, with no specific reading sequence, whichoften blurs authorial intention; (c) a new type of reader that does not read ina linear way, but often engages in multi-tasking, is used to processing smallchunks of text and often browses without a predictable reading sequence; and(d) a new context of text processing. This chapter addresses these qualities ofelectronic genres and their implications. For that purpose, 4 different academictexts will be analysed: (1) an academic printed journal uploaded online withoutvariations, Computers in Human Behavior; (2) an online journal, First Monday;(3) several entries of a specialised native discourse on the Internet: Second LifeNew World Notes; and (4) a popular native online discourse, the technology blogby The Guardian.


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