Lab 13

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While there is obviously a multitude of different ways to engage with multimodal composition and online writing that are crafted for purposes of dissemination, publication, and communication, for this lab I’m trying to engage with multimodal writing on a personal, centralized, compositional level. The site I’m currently typing this lab report on (“Written? Kitten!”) does not include any sort of publishing feature; instead, it is a simple text composition page similar to TextEdit, with no formatting options, capable of only two functions: first, allowing the user to type any sort of simple composition into the page, and second, rewarding the user for every 100 words composed with a cat image.

I think it’s an interesting evolution of multimodal writing, moving inward to the creator as opposed to strictly a means of display. In this case, multimodal writing becomes a clear motivational tool; that said, how effective it is is questionable; as with all genres, the form in some way dictates the content. I don’t even like cats, and I’m noticing personal syntax changes with flowing, clumsy, ineffective and over-the-top and excessive prose I’m currently spouting out just for the goal of getting a new cat picture–I can only imagine what this site does to actual cat lovers. Although, in a typical form of multimodal composition, the reader/audience would see both the image and the text, this multimodal form exists essentially only for the author (in a traditional setting–I’m including both published for this report both to give the reader a sense of how this was composed and in case I can get any points with cat-owners out there–is it working?).

Oddly enough, I did still find some similarities to the process of creating this piece to the process of creating the memes, which should be unrelated activities because memes are essentially created to be published and circulated, a purpose that does not relate to this website’s. Both involved a sense of motivation and reward as a way to inspire writing; memes, with their quick generation and output, beckoned the creator to make more and more, while a site centered around clearly marked rewards (even if they are just cat pictures) brings forth a certain kind of productivity also. On the ways they differ though, I would like to think the meme-inspired inspired something humorous, whereas Written? Kitten! brought forth words–words that I hope have somehow come together to form an incredibly self-reflective but still adequate and engaging lab report.

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