Rebooting Electronic Literature, Volume 2: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

Social Media Content for Kathryn Cramer's "In Small & Large Pieces"

Because human experience with born-digital literary works is the focus of the Pathfinders Methodology on which Rebooting Electronic Literature is built, the Electronic Literature Lab team began incorporating social media during the Live Stream Traversals last year as a way to expand the audience for the event and document audience responses to the work. We found that doing so also captures more of the depth and richness of the scholarly conversation surrounding these works and allowed for recording the ensuing conversation for posterity. 

The success of using social media during Traversals led us to continue with this strategy. On the day of the Traversal for Cramer's work the undergraduate researchers, the ELL faculty, staff, and performer Will Luers gathered in the lab. The Undergraduate Researchers had notes from their research and from Grigar’s critical study on hand to feed content into the social media conversations. While Luers performed the Traversal, Grigar moderated the live YouTube chat and later the question and answer session. The Undergraduate Researchers documented the event on Facebook and Twitter. They also took photographs––mixing in prepared research on the work and its criticism with observations, comments, and interactions with other participants. After the event, the social media content was gathered together for this book.

The research question underpinning our work, “How can a live internet broadcast and social media effort extend the reach and increase participation in a Traversal of a work of early e-lit?,” helped us discover that the use of social media channels did, in fact, extend the reach of the Traversal. The interactions gathered on Twitter differed from those gathered on Facebook. The chat conversation from the YouTube channel had the most interaction and the fastest paced conversation. Monitoring multiple channels during the question and answer session allowed for a broader, more varied, and richer conversation. 

Facebook
We posted to three main locations on Facebook: 1) the site Grigar set up for the Pathfinders project, entitled "elitpathfinders," 2) the Electronic Literature Organization's page with over 1600 members, and 3) Grigar's own site. ELL Team members with a Facebook page also posted to their own sites. 

This post shared the upcoming live Traversals planned for 2018/19, including the dates and times for each.


This post provides details regarding ELO's Traversal of Kathryn Cramer's "In Small and Large Pieces". Cramer's Traversal was the first of the 2018/19 Traversals to be shown by the Electronic Literature Lab, and it was performed by Will Luers of the Creative Media and Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver.


This post is another announcement regarding ELO's first Traversal of the year, "In Small and Large Pieces." It mentions that it would take place on October 26th and read by recent Robert Coover Award winner Will Luers.


This post shares the link and time to the YouTube livestream, accompanied by ELL's 2018/19 Traversal schedule.
 

PathFinders posted a quote from Kathryn Cramer about her work: "'In Small and Large Pieces' was produced with Storyspace and published by Eastgate Systems, Inc. in 1994. Kathryn Cramer herself stated that was "definitely working w/in idiom of dark fantasy" when creating this work of Electronic Literature.


This is a Facebook post containing Kathryn Cramer's bio.‚Äč She is a writer and anthologist who grew up in Seattle and eventually moved to Pleasantville, New York and Boston. She taught science fiction at Harvard Summer School for five years. The post also mentions that she received her BA in mathematics and her Masters degree in American Studies, both from Columbia University. Additionally, Cramer won the World Fantasy Award for the Architecture of Fear, which was co-edited with Peter D. Pautz.


This post is an invitation for viewers to join the Q/A portion of the event. Attached is the 2018/19 Traversal schedule.


Twitter
We tweeted on two Twitter sites: 1) the lab's own Twitter site with over 400 followers and 2) Grigar's own site that had over 3200 followers. Austin Fields was in charge of posting and reposting on Twitter during the event. The hashtag we used was #ELitLab, the same hashtag for the lab.

The Electronic Literature Lab shared a tweet containing the live Traversal schedule for 2018/19.


Electronic Literature Lab tweeted an announcement for the first Traversal, "In Small and Large Pieces" by Kathryn Cramer performed by Will Luers.


This tweet from the Electronic Literature Lab provides the date and time of Cramer's Traversal (10/26/18 at Noon PST), and provides a link to the Live stream.


The Electronic Literature Lab tweeted an image of the setup for Cramer's Traversal, telling viewers to stay tuned for the YouTube link.


This tweet from the Electronic Literature Lab invites viewers to join the live stream Traversal in YouTube.


Katie Bowen tweeted that Cramer is the founding editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction, and was the winner of the World Fantasy Award.


The Electronic Literature Lab tweeted that readers of "In Small and Large Pieces" could navigate the work by selecting paths or simply hitting the RETURN key.


The Electronic Literature Lab tweeted that "In Small and Large Pieces" was created in the Storyspace software and published by Eastgate Systems, Inc. which packaged it with Kathy Mac's "Unnatural Habitats."


ELO tweeted that during an interview with Harry Goldstein, Kathryn Cramer said that she "was definitely working w/in the idiom of dark fantasy."


The Electronic Literature Lab invites viewers via tweet to join the Q/A session in the YouTube chat.


Katie Bowen tweeted a YouTube link to the live performance of Cramer's work "In Small & Large Pieces" at Noon PST, which was in five minutes.


Katie Bowen gives a five-minute heads up about the Traversal via tweet, and includes a link to the live stream.


Katie Bowen tweeted that Cramer's work "In Small and Large Pieces" was published in 1994 in The Eastgate Quarterly Review of Hypertext Volume 1, Number 3. It also mentions that the Electronic Literature Lab has all eight of The Eastgate Quarterly Review of Hypertext.



Katie Bowen shares a quote from James Daly about Cramer's work via tweet: "Kathryn Cramer's bizarre short story 'In Small and Large Pieces"... is a tale of a psychotic sister and her suicidal brother that is ably served by e-fiction's use of hypertext."


Katie Bowen tweets a quote from Cramer about her work: "I have too much fun chopping things into little bits and reassembling it in any way I feel like."


In this tweet, Katie Bowen shares a quote from Harry Goldstein about Cramer's work: "In Small and Large Pieces" is a psychic journey into the backwaters of adolescence, where Anna takes us through the looking glass (in, of course, more ways than one) and shows us a reflection of ourselves."


Katie Bowen tweeted that Kathryn Cramer is among the earliest pioneers of Electronic Literature, next to Joh McDaid and Sarah Smith.


Katie Bowen tweets that the user can navigate over 2000 linked paths within "In Small and Large Pieces," or simply hit the RETURN key repeatedly in a process known as "The Wave of Returns."


Katie Bowen invites viewers to join the YouTube livestream in twitter.


Katie Bowen tweets a link to the YouTube chat's Q/A session.


Dene Grigar tweets a link to the YouTube livestream Traversal of Cramer's work "In Small & Large Pieces."


Dene Grigar tweeted a photo of Will Luers performing "In Small & Large Pieces."


Dene Grigar sends a thank-you to those who joined the livestream Traversal.


Travis Toth retweets an image of the Traversal.


In this tweet, Holly Slocum announces the start of the Traversal.





Once the Traversal ended, we announced on Twitter that the Q & A would begin so that the audience could post questions on the YouTube Chat and in the lab. We also continued to post information about the work we learned from the Live Traversal.

Instagram
We introduced Instagram this year as a way to reach a younger audience. Holly Slocum handed this social media channel for the Traversals.

ELO announced the date and time of the first livestream Traversal (Noon PST on October 26) of the 2018/19 schedule in an Instagram post.


The Electronic Literature Lab showed off the computer used to perform Cramer's piece via Instagram: A Macintosh LC 520 (known by the Electronic Literature Lab as "Aphrodite.")


ELO wraps up the event, and announces the next Traversal to be Deena Larsen's work Samplers in Instagram. 

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