Technology and the Future of Writing – Prezi

I made a Prezifor our class. Below, is the narrative!

The auto advance should be at 10 seconds, but it doesn’t sync with the prezi after the second “slide”. It goes to the Bolter slide too early and I was unsure of how to fix it without having to  upload multiple recordings and make it so that it went along with each path.

Once upon a time, there was a princess. The princess had a story to tell about her cat, so she had a scribe come to the castle. She told him her story and he wrote it down and gave it to the bards so they could sing the story to the whole kingdom. Today, that princess has access to Facebook, Twitter and blogging sites like WordPress or Weebly. So when she wants to get the story of her cat out into the world, she can pick and choose any medium she wants.

So how do we survive in the world wide web where we have dozens of choices for writing technologies? The trick is that there’s no need to survive. We’re doing better than we ever have before in terms of publishing our stories. With millions of books and stories published annually, we’ve come a long way since the days of scribes and bards; the literacy rate has taken huge leaps in the last few centuries. As J.D. Bolter states in his article “Writing As Technology”, “…oral poetry is no more natural than writing, just as writing with pen and paper is no more natural, no less technological, than writing on a computer screen….It is not the complexity of the devices that matters so much as the technical or literate frame of mind.”

Bibliophiles will argue to their final breath over whether the printed book is superior to the ebook or not. But when it comes to getting a story, a message, or a lesson out into the world, what does it matter? When someone has something to say, they’ll find a way to get it out to others through any means necessary. So when a princess wants to talk about the silly thing her cat did, what does it matter if she calls the scribe or opens up Facebook? If Facebook gets the message out quicker and easier, it’s clearly the best choice.

So wouldn’t that make her her own scribe? Wouldn’t that, in turn, make every person who has ever posted to Facebook or WordPress a writer? That answer is yes. Our technologies are changing, literacy is becoming more and more prevalent in the world, so the definition of a “writer” changes too. Not everyone who uses Facebook or runs their own blog gets paid, but then again, not everyone who publishes their own book gets paid either.

No one can deny that things are different now in the reading world than they were ten, twenty and even thirty years ago. “On the Go” meant something completely different in the 20th century than it does now. Who would have thought that I could check my email, read the latest news articles, learn that we’re out of milk while I walked to my next class, all on the same device that weighs less than five ounces? I can buy and download five new books in under 2 minutes while stuck in traffic on the interstate. I can check any updates from any websites that I like through services like Zite or  Feedly. I can save things to read later with the Pocket app; I can share it all with Twitter. It feels like anything is possible now. And who knows what we’ll be able to accomplish in another twenty years?


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