Friday, 6 September 2013

Exacting Change Through Genre

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The week’s readings revolved around the concept of genre and how the printed diary has transitioned into blogging within the digital era. McNeill (2011) talked extensively about how she saw this transition as de-evolution, with the idea of access to lives in progress still being key to the operation of both online and printed diaries.  Changes in medium affect changes in genre and within my social network, Snapchat, this is especially true. I will explore how the change in genre has affected my social network. 

Genre is the term given to products grouped together based on similarities and shared conventions (Van Luyn, 2013). Genre defines the interaction between users in Snapchat. Some pictures and videos (snaps) taken are for particular users within the ‘snappers’ constructed network while others are for all users. Particular snaps will pertain to a specific topic or theme the users interacting are discussing while some will be broad and abstract made for everyone to see with the hope that from this a discourse will form. I theorize that general snaps from each user are genre in itself and the discourse that forms are sub-genres. Genre also relates to aspects of online diary-writing. Those who start out with a general snap to their entire network are much like bloggers McNeill (2011) discusses who “has a responsibility to design [sic] utterances to be understood by all participants”. 

Snapchat is an example of change in medium affecting changes in genre. This is due to the fact that snaps are deleted after a user chosen duration which affects interaction as those who respond act upon what they remember. What users remember may not be what was actually said, altering the discourse. Whether the alteration is negative or positive is subjective, some “break the rules in a quest to be engaging, persuasive and interesting” (Diyanni, 2005). Genre will undoubtedly advance with the emergence of new social networks and adaptations to those present however its elements as well as those of diary writing will remain forever relevant and imbedded. 

 Until Next Time, 


Reference List:

1.      McNeill, L. (2011). ‘Diary 2.0?: A genre moves from page to screen.’ In Language and New Media. (C.Rowe & E.L Wyss, Ed.). Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press Inc.

2.       Van Luyn, A. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narratives and The Making Of Place, Lecture 6: Genre.[Notes] retrieved from


3.   Diyanni, R. (2005). ‘Introduction: reading and writing essays.’ New York University: Penguin Academics.

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