Writing on the Net (Writer’s Workshop Presentation)

Today I presented a session at the University of Guelph Library’s Writer’s Workshop. The topic was: Writing on the Net. Exploring Participatory, Online Writing: the Good, the Bad, and the Trolls.

The workshop was focused on my experimental “book-like-thing” Beyond Literacy. What we talked about was not the content of the book (the demise of literacy and the rise of post-literacy) but its open, participatory nature and what this meant as an author (or facilitator).

What the Editorial Team and I wanted to create with Beyond Literacy was a networked conversation using a variety of tools on the Internet and involving as many voices as possible. I describe this as exciting and terrifying. We learned how to create engagement, wrangle trolls, willingly lose control, encourage diversity, accept harsh criticism, and sustain a narrative while relishing chaos. Fun.

Beyond Literacy did entice many contributors and commentators, and it did get 1000s of readers. Next time we will do similar and different things. It was a wonderful experiment.

Here are the slides from the workshop.


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