new media, communicative genres, genres, World-Wide Web
Library and Information Science
The World-Wide Web is growing quickly and being applied to many new types of communications. As a basis for studying organizational communications, Yates and Orlikowski [1, 2] proposed using genres. They defined genres as, “typified communicative actions characterized by similar substance and form and taken in response to recurrent situations” [1, p. 299]. They further suggested that communications in a new media will show both reproduction or adaptation of existing communicative genres as well as the emergence of new genres. We studied this phenomena on the World-Wide Web by examining randomly selected Web pages (100 in one sample and 1000 in a second) and categorizing the type of genre represented. Perhaps most interestingly, we saw examples of genres being adapted to take advantage of the linking and interactivity of the new medium, such as solicitations for help and genealogies. We suggest that Web site designers consider the genres that are appropriate for their situation and attempt to reuse familiar genres.
Crowston, K. & Williams, M. Reproduced and emergent genres of communication on the World-Wide Web. The Information Society, 16(3), 201–215, doi: 10.1080/01972240050133652.
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