Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Digital Literacies Project

For my digital literacies project, I will be studying the website, more specifically, the discussion boards on the website. There is a discussion board for every movie, tv show, and celebrity that you can find on imdb. The more popular movies and shows get dozens of posts on a daily basis, visited by people of both genders, from ages preteen to elderly. Most people do it simply for fun, others like to stir up debates, or get answers to a question they might have about said movie. For my research project, I am going to study the discussion board for the popular tv show Once Upon A Time (if necessary I can also study the discussion boards for the tv show Bones and/or Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Once Upon A Time (hereafter referred to as OUAT) starts its third season this month and has a huge following from a wide variety of a crowd. I have been a fan of the show since it began and have visited the discussion board from time to time. I plan to study what kinds of posts get people riled up, which ages and genders focus on what issues, and I will post in the discussion board myself. I have no doubt that it will be interesting and entertaining, with an endless supply of material.

1 comment:

  1. Katie,

    This sounds like an interesting project! I, too, am a Once Upon A Time watcher (I must admit, a super critical one), so I look forward to observing your project. I pay a lot of attention to online discussions of TV shows, but am not at all familiar with the IMDB forums, so I’m also curious to learn more about how that particular community interacts.

    Merchant’s list of the “shifts of emphasis” alongside emerging digital literacies reminds me a lot of your project (243). He discusses how texts are transformed as a result of the digital environment. In particular, numbers 5 ("texts can become collaborative and multivocal, with replies, links, posted comments and borrowing") and 8 (“roles of readers and writers overlap”) seem relevant to a discussion community of TV fans. When fans articulate their own interpretations and analyses of a text (OUAT), they have the power to affect the way fellow fans engage with the show’s canon itself. In a way, fans have the power to “rewrite” the show for one another, which is especially interesting when it comes to canon aspects that they find dissatisfying. I myself have read a lot of criticism of the writing and characterization decisions OUAT has made, and it’s definitely made me more aware and critical as a viewer. I’m also interested in Knobel and Lankshear’s idea of the “attention economy” in relation to this IMDB message board space. Are there certain posters who get more attention or carry more credibility than others, or is it a more egalitarian discussion space?

    In terms of how you might refine or narrow down your topic, I’m wondering whether you might consider focusing on fans’ reactions to a particular aspect of Once Upon A Time, rather than all the content of the third season. Plot development? Shipping? One particular character’s arc? (Personally, Regina is my #1 Once Upon A Time priority. :D)