Once upon a blog ... Storytelling in weblogs

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Weblogs provide ample opportunities and new spaces for personal storytelling. Making use of ready-made templates, these platforms introduce non-expert users to online publishing and have spawn a variety of different weblog genres. Accordingly, narratives surface in different varieties in the blogosphere, while being at the same time conditioned by the individual possibilities and restrictions of the electronic environment. In particular four weblog-specific narrative features, i.e. interactivity, fragmentation, multi-linearity and multi-modality, impose to varying degrees on weblog narration, thus challenging acclaimed socio-linguistic and conversational approaches to narrative analysis (Labov and Waletzky 1967, Ochs an Capps 2001). Weblog storytelling, in particular, adheres to the dynamic potential of the conversational approaches, whose dimensions for describing narratives elicit the multi-linear and interactive aspects and seem to bear many characteristics of a hypernarrative.


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