Thursday, 22 August 2013

Networked narratives in cyberspace and aboriginal culture.

Image: Frog Dreaming (Purda Punta)

            In the virtual network of MacRumors the idea of equality is embraced by the users who are encouraged to provide assistance to all.  This idea is similar to the idea of aboriginal culture that  “man, society and nature past and future are at one together within a unitary system” (Stanner, 1979). Within the forum there are those who use various Apple products who create their own subcultures based upon the product in which they have most interest in gaining further knowledge. As illustrated in the image above of the songlines in aboriginal culture which connect various groups so do the different forums connect mac users with each other.
            In the aboriginal culture the ancestors created the landscape with their songlines, which mapped their original journey in the new world they had just created (Chatwin,1987). In the virtual network those who created the various sub forums may be seen as the ancestors of the new virtual landscape.
            Within the virtual world of MacRumors the users are located throughout the world with the majority of contributors being located in the Western World especially in North America and Europe. Those who are linked closely to the manufacturer of Apple products have insider knowledge of the direction of the new products under development and as such have the power to advise others on whether to purchase a product or wait for the release of a newer version of the product.
            Unlike other online networks MacRumors is specific in nature for contributors to the network within the world of Apple products. The information on the individual, which is shared, is very narrow in nature. Within the virtual network there are additional links to other sites such as which give additional information on Apple products.  
            Contributors may have an online identity without creating any conflict or lack of authentic self-identity. This is in contrast to the ideas of Mark Zukerberg who insists that you must have only one identity. (McNeill, 2012).
            The idea that networked narratives may indeed be playful due to the human machine interface (Van Luyn, 2013) is shown in this online world as the narratives created by the contributors are not only a conversation between one another but almost a conversation with the machine.

Chatwin, B. (1985).   The Songlines. Australian aborigines – Social life and customs.
            Jonathan Cape Limited, London.

            Biography 35.1. Biographical Research Center

Stanner, W. E. H. (1979). WHITE MAN GOT NO DREAMING, Essays 1938 -1973.
            Australian National University Press, Australia.

Van Luyn, A. (2013).  BA1102: Our Space: Networks, Narratives, and the Making of Place, week4 notes. [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from

Image Credits

Jagammara, Malcolm Moloney (Artist) 2010. Frog Dreaming – Porda Punta (Image of Painting). Retrieved from Google Images.


  1. Hi David!

    You demonstrate an interesting comparison between Aboriginal 'dreaming' and your virtual network. Because of the nature of your virtual network it seems that users are free to create an identity which may be different to their real selves but which causes no harm or difference in the information they provide, unlike social media sites like facebook that prompt and encourage the "real you" to be displayed. It seems important however that the users of your virtual network are honest with the information that they share as it could directly effect someone seeking help. This is an interesting difference that varies between online social networks and something everyone should probably keep in mind! I own a macbook pro so I'm interested to find out more about this network!



    McNeill, L. (2012). There is no "I" in network: social networking sites & posthuman auto/biography.

  2. Hi David,

    I found this blog really interesting as I have not heard of MacRumors until know. I found the comparison between MacRumors and Aboriginal Songlines intriguing. Also,the way that MacRumors is more defined in its nature as opposed to my network, Facebook.
    In the reading by Chatwin,(1985)"A song, was both a map and direction-finder." seem similar to MacRumors, in that, the Apple product will lead to the relevant subculture. The users knowledge also seems to be important to the success of these sub forums. This seems similar to the Aboriginal's use of song and relationship with country.
    The ability to maintain an authentic self on MacRumors is very different to Facebook. The exchanging of information and success of MacRumors seems to flourish more so with the users 'real' self and knowledge.
    Look foward to hearing more on MacRumors.



    Chatwin, B. (1985). The Songlines. Australian aborigines- Social life and customs.
    Jonathan Cape Limited, London.