To most people, the word â€œwritingâ€ means words on paper, prose in sentences and paragraphs. And from this perspective, computers (or any technology) are incidental to writing, simply a means of producing it but not actually part of the art of writing. But not to us. Not to folks in the field of rhetoric and composition and especially not to folks in the field of computers and writing. We reject the idea that writing equals style, syntax, coherence, and organizationâ€”meaning at the level of the sentence and the paragraph. And we reject the idea that all writing is the same, whether it is produced with a pencil, a typewriter, or a networked computer.
From Kairos 10:1 â€œWhy Teach Digital Writingâ€ by the WIDE Research Collective
I guess I have lived through enough web revolutions to be a little skeptical whenever someone makes sweeping claims for the impact of new technology. Still, the W.R.C. makes a strong case that writing is becoming more complicated and nuanced than ever before, simply because there is more of it in more kinds of media.
The really interesting uses of these new technologies are the mash-ups, clever scripts that combine a variety of different sources of information into useful new forms or formats. Some are general, others very specific. TechPresident, for example, harvests information from all of the social networking sites related to the presidential campaign.
TechPresident has statistics, for example, on which candidate has the most friends in MySpace, or whose videos are watched most often on YouTube.
If you want to spend a few (hours) minutes exploring reviewing the good, the bad, and the ugly among these new web 2.0 tools you can start at Go2Web20.net.