Being ‘always online’ has become a crucial way of life, especially for young people. Ever since the emergence of interactive text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC), people have been used to participating in multiple communication technologies simultaneously. This article explores the ways in which the text-making practices in different CMCs are indeed interrelated, arguing that experienced online writers often learn from and draw upon their former and current practices of CMC while participating in a ‘newer’ technology. A case study of how a group of Hong Kong young people perform writing activities on Facebook demonstrates the relationship between newer Web 2.0 media and other CMCs. In particular, the article shows how the writing of Facebook ‘status updates’ is developed from the practice of reporting personal activities and feelings in Instant Messaging. The study argues that new media texts are indeed the result of an on-going process of learning the affordances, discourse functions and linguistic features of different writing spaces, as well as how identities are performed in previously encountered media. All these lead us to rethink the question of ‘newness’ in the advent of Web 2.0 literacies.
|Keywords:||New Media, Informal Learning, Self-generated Literacy Practices, Text-making, Computer-mediated Communication, Web 2.0, Facebook, Instant Messaging|
Assistant Professor, Department of English, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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