I have a few points I would like to discuss regarding this portion of the text. First, on page 205, the author mentions something called “deep” linking, which is foreign to me. I read the text, but I’m not certain if I have a grip on the term. Does she mean links that are more complex than the simple URL linkage? FOr example, this semester, after having set up our blogs, we were all asked to do the same for our blog roll, so is this an example of deep linking? I suppose my question is what makes it deep and/or what makes a typical URL link shallow? I think maybe I’m over analyzing this, but I need clarification.

Next, she states., “The point is not all texts are completely fragmented and resist connection. Instead, texts are broken down in order to reconnect them, over and over again” (208). Well, is this not what we do with alphabetic text? Are we not researching others ideas or theories and breaking them down in such a way that we can use them, again and again if necessary. With that said, the database, based essay is really not all that different than the traditional word document, because we are using a similar process in creating them. So, how can one be more or less creative than another? I don’t see the threat that she goes on in the next paragraph about. What I do see is that institutions and professionals may construe this as a threat, because now the isolated skill that we are convinced is required for professionals writers in not so isolated anymore.

She refers to weblogs and how they are “fluid and shifting” yet, this lines up with my argument previously mentioned. So too is alphabetic text. As students we are taught that although our arguments needs to be cogent and persuasive, we must be creative and engage our audience in ways that will keep them enveloped in the text. Thus, in order to do this, we must remember to remain fluid and shifting ourselves, because what works with one field of study doesn’t always work with one audience. We have to be willing to change and try new things, in order to maintain an interest in our students, and if this means tweaking assignments so they include more web interface, then it isn’t all that much different than asking students to write a poem, or a play. They still must maintain an authentic interest in what they’re doing, feel that what they are producing is worthy of reading, and be confident in their argument. All of these attributes apply to web design as well.

The last quote I want to articulate is when the author states, “However, by ignoring them [database design] as forms of writing we make their influence invisible” I could not agree more here. When the onset of the word processor came about, the same discussion was under way regarding what constituted authentic writing and as we have seen through out the years, the only thing that threatens authentic writing is not writing. So, this, in my opinion, applies to web-based design as well. The only thing that threatens writing with regard to web-based design is not writing, or not designing. We need to throw out our traditional, institutional views of composition, so that we make room for more types of creativity. I say this because, if we realize that gripping the old-world view of writing, as the novel ways are being established, only hinders our ability to teach. Our students are making digital composition a part of their lives, even when they don’t realize it, so if we are not privy to this, how will they ever be?

Advertisements