Internet genre

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Internet genre refers to a type of genre (/ˈʒɒnrə/ or /ˈɒnrə/) explored in Multimedia Studies. Others include film genre, Video game genres and Music genre. Genre, in terms of Genre studies refers to the method based on similarities in the narrative elements from which media-texts are constructed.

Types of Internet Genre[edit]

There are various genres of Internet service. Whilst these can be seen as types, they are distinctive from each other so much that many newer types are likely to have the same characteristics as them[1]

Personal Homepage[edit]

Main articles: Personal web page and User profile

Personal homepages are regularly updated, allows people to connect with those that they know through leaving messages and joining buddylists. Members often need to re-register for each site and cannot usually take their buddylist with them.[1]

Message Boards[edit]

Main article: Internet forum

A message board is one of the most familiar genres of online gathering place, which is asynchronous, meaning people do not have to be in the same place at the same time to have a conversation.[2] With this genre posts can be accessed at any time and it is easy to ignore undesirable content. However, threads can become very long and reading through the messages is time consuming.[1]

E-mail lists and newsletters[edit]

An electronic mailing list or email list is a special usage of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is the easiestkind of online gathering place to create, maintain and participate.[2] It allows a user to receive a message as soon as it is sent, but users cannot always access an archive of messages.[1]

Chat Groups[edit]

Chat Group, where people can chat synchronously, communicating in the same place at the same time.[3] Many Micro-blogging platforms now function like chat groups, such as Twitter. The first online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R. Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois. It offered several channels, each of which could accommodate up to five people, with messages appearing on all users' screens character-by-character as they were typed. Talkomatic was very popular among PLATO users into the mid-1980s. This genre is synchronous, meaning can communicate in real-time, but as posts can be sent simultaneously the user can become lost in the conversation.[1]

Virtual Worlds[edit]

Main article: Virtual world

A virtual world takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects.[1] The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of avatars visible to others.[4] Virtual worlds use 3D metaphors allow a user to get more involved in the community, but often require certain hardware and software that not all users have.[1]

Weblogs and Directories[edit]

Main articles: Blog and Directory (databases)

Weblogs exist when the owner, who is referred to as a 'blogger', invites others to comment on what they have written.[5] The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users. (Previously, a knowledge of such technologies as HTML and FTP had been required to publish content on the Web). This genre is easily updated, with regular content, but members can’t start topics only respond to them.[1]

Wikis and Hypertext Fiction[edit]

Main articles: Wiki and Hypertext fiction

A wiki is a collaborative page-editing tool in which users may add or edit content directly through their web browser [6] The Wiki can be seen to have a similar structure to hypertext fiction systems, where the owner of the site invites individuals to add nodes to the system and link them together.[1] Hypertext fiction has resurged with the launch of in 2006, though it has existed since at least since 1987 when Michael Joyce (writer)’s Afternoon, a story was launched. This genre can allow for collaborative work on literary projects. Unfortunately it can also bring out the worst in people, such as their destructive natures.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bishop, J. (2009). Enhancing the understanding of genres of web-based communities: The role of the ecological cognition framework. International Journal of Web-Based Communities, 5(1), 4-17. Available online
  2. ^ a b Kim, A.J. (2000). Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, London: Peachpit Press.
  3. ^ Figallo, C. (1998). Hosting Web Communities: Building Relationships, Increasing Customer Loyalty and Maintaining a Competitive Edge, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
  4. ^ Cook, A.D. (2009). A case study of the manifestations and significance of social presence in a multi-user virtual environment. MEd Thesis. Available online
  5. ^ Tadiou, K.M. (2006). 'Emerging technologies for web-based communities', Int. J. Web Based Communities, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.160–171.
  6. ^ Feller, J. (2005). Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

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