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Modes of interactivity: analysing the webdoc


Nash, K, Modes of interactivity: analysing the webdoc, Media, Culture and Society, 34, (2) pp. 195-210. ISSN 0163-4437 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author(s) 2012

DOI: doi:10.1177/0163443711430758


The webdocumentary positions itself as documentary re-mediated for the internet age. Not only does the name webdocumentary consciously reference film and television documentary but it is possible to trace continuities in representational strategies, purpose and production practices that situate the webdoc within the documentary tradition. In spite of this family resemblance, however, the webdoc challenges current thinking about documentary representation. Interactivity in particular has consequences for theorizing in relation to modes of representation and user engagement. This article considers interactivity as a representational strategy, suggesting three dimensions for assessing its contribution to documentary. Following on from this it is suggested that, like film and television documentary, webdocs exhibit patterns of textual organization. It is suggested that there are at least three interactive structures found in webdocs: the narrative, the categorical and the collaborative. Each can be further divided - indicating the diverse uses of interactive features. A challenge of researching interactive texts is that the whole text is never completely available for analysis. Each viewing has the potential to be different from the last. Although necessarily provisional, this article seeks to demonstrate what might be achieved through close reading of the interactive documentary text.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:collaboration, documentary, interactivity, internet, theory, webdocumentary
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Screen and digital media
Research Field:Screen and digital media not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies
UTAS Author:Nash, K (Dr Kate Nash)
ID Code:79067
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:54
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2012-08-15
Last Modified:2013-05-16

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