My Journal



Back in Black… and Maroon

OK, I’ve been away from here for a while, tending to teaching and other duties, including this new blog/Web site design, which is still not quite complete as of this date. I have not been hugely active in blogging on digital orality since last Fall. However, if all goes as planned, this blog is about to become quite active (ok, perhaps not for about two more weeks). So, to get back into it, for my readers and myself, I want to post a quick refresher of where I am and what I mean by digital orality, since that’s really the fundamental topic on which this site and my studies are based.

Digital Orality is a term I apply to the way we communicate using non-textual (largely oral), computer-mediated communication forms, such as podcasting. Under the term podcasting I include visual/video instances under the many titles, such as vodcasting, video blogging (vlogging), v-logging, etc.
These audio and video tools make specifically identifiable differences in the way we communicate (and the way we CAN communicate) orally. I suggest that as a technological culture, the way we use these tools has brought about a new phase of orality, one that requires a different sort of literacy to communicate via these media. This unique literacy is rooted in existing concepts of oral communication and delivery, but depends on textual elements.

Admittedly, my concept of the term and how I currently frame much of my thinking on this topic is disproportionately based on the phases and definitions of orality and literacy presented by Walter J. Ong. This condition exists merely as a foundation to begin the discussion and is temporary in that the entire discourse will become much fuller and complex over the coming months as I draw in other scholars to shape the theory.

This is a very general overview of the research topic as it now stands. I’ll consider this post a springboard to get back into blogging about my research. As this research goes on, I will examine podcasting and other (often social) media we use to communicate, and I will delve into the reading list that I am still forming. Of course, I will also detail, clarify, and support ideas and claims that I’ve made here and previously on this blog. There are many subtopics and new perspectives I’ve been working through as of late… stay tuned.

    • thbarrow
      Jul 30, 2008 at 11:32 PM /

      OK, the black and maroon is gone – that was a short-lived theme. I now have this sweet new theme, designed by Daniel Hardy. The colour scheme is mine, but the exquisite layout, design, and functionality is all Daniel.