Canonicity and breach – sequence of events can have all first three but need a precipitating event to be a narrative. Breachs of canonical – betrayed wife, fleeced innocent etc The conference and its agenda set the ‘canon’, the expectations of how the space will be used, how the speakers will behave, how the story will be told. Both participants and tweeters can break these conventions – by using the ‘space’ differently, exactly as one of the speakers at the conference was discussing. The ‘asides’ of the tweeters give an example of this – they set another ‘narrative’ in train. The first tweeter makes this comment:
It is at least 10 tweets further on, chronologically, that another participant ‘picks up’ this narrative and continues it (see below)
Referentiality – narrative ‘truth’ is judged by its verisimilitude The #itf10 trend reflects the ‘real’ events of the conference – not only that but the ‘tweets’ are openly self‐referential, reflecting openly on the act of ‘tweeting’ about the shared reality of the conference and taking part in ‘tweeting about it.
Genericness – recognisable kinds of narrative help readers to interpret the events. There appears to be a certain universality to representations of human plights in all cultures. Genres may shape our way of thinking about the world and the realities they depict. Since Twitter is a new ‘genre’ in the sense that it is not exactly a conversation, nor exactly a ‘blog’ or discussion thread, but a hybrid, does it change the mode of thought with the mode of ‘telling’? Is the quality of the reflection different? Normativeness – Bruner (1991) says “the normativeness of narrative is not historically or culturally terminal. Its form changes with the preoccupations of the age and the circumstances surrounding its production………Narrative……designed to contain uncannincess rather than resolve it.” Normativeness changes and has changed with Web 2.0 technologies. What is the cultural normativeness which applies to Twitter? The ‘uncanniness’ Bruner (1991) mentions seems to stem from the interactivity, the distributed narrative, the collective and multimodal ways digital storytelling uses.
In posthuman cyberculture, how do we still use narrative to learn and make sense of the world?