[Air-l] Taxonomy of Content on the Internet

Muhammad Abdul-Mageed mumageed at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 17 04:32:57 PDT 2006

Dear Christy, and all,
  Although I do not have an answer for the question you raised, I guess an important point is the one related to the criterion upon which we label anything as being metadiscursive. As far as I can see, two main perspectives can emerge. First, it can be said that anything that is not related to the propositional content--which Christy seems to call the 'actual thing,' is metadiscursive. Second, anything related to 'writer-reader' interaction can be taken as being an example of metadiscourse. Again, as far as I know, this will depend upon the perspective from which we strike the distiction between discourse and metadiscourse. But I am not sure whether you Christy is concerned with these theoritical issues about the nature of metadiscourse or not. Anyhow, 'metadiscourse' has been defined differently by different people. Scholars like Williams, Deborah Schiffrin, Vande Koople, Avon Crismore, and Ken Hyland have been actively involved in theorizing about the concept. And it is
 the more recent writings of Hyland that seems to challenge the traditional definitions of the concept and offer a different classification, not based upon the dichotomy of discourse and metadiscourse as two opposing, but intricately related, concepts. I think that we need to be clear about the criterion before deciding.
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed,
  Dept of English,
  Faculty of Arts,
  Kafr El-Sheik Univerity,
Christy Dena <cdena at cross-mediaentertainment.com> wrote:
  Hello All,

I'm trying to find out if there is any data to support the contention that
the majority of content on the Internet is meta-discursive: discussions
about things rather than the actual thing. This is I believe a logical
assumption to make considering the amount of content in blogs, wikis,
forums, listservs, news, general websites and so on; and the affordances of
the web and the primary function of the web for many. But perhaps there is
more content (mainly remediated perhaps) that I may be aware of. I'm aware
that more and more content is being made available on the Net but I don't
think it outweighs discussions about it yet. I can look at the stats on the
amount of blogs and so on and the stats on why people use the web but I'm
wondering if there are any studies that compare the various types of content
available on the Net? And, I'd also be interested on the views of those on
this list. Do you think there is more meta content than anything else? Do
you think there more discussions about content than anything else? 

I'm aware that a snapshot of the entire Net is not an option, nor is there
the possibility of a conclusive taxonomy of the Net, but just interested in
pursuing the idea. As a background, I'm looking at this question from the
view of an analysis of how entertainment has changed with the Internet.

If I simply missed studies that are already on the AOIR website or have been
discussed on this list, could someone just send me a link, and accept my


Christy Dena

School of Letters, Art and Media

University of Sydney, Australia


Web: http://www.ChristyDena.com 

Web: http://www.SlateNight.com 

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