Rebooting Electronic Literature: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

Social Media Content for J. Yellowlees Douglas' "I Have Said Nothing"

By the time the Live Stream Traversal for Douglas's "I Have Said Nothing" took place, we had developed an efficient work flow for handling the event's social media component. The undergraduate researchers had prepared their notes from the research Grigar had done and her critical essay on hand to feed content into the social media conversations. They also took photographs, mixing in prepared research on the work and its criticism with observations, comments, and interactions with other participants. While Brand performed the Traversal, Grigar moderated the live YouTube chat and later the question and answer session documented in the videos on this page. After the event Nicholas Schiller prepared a Storify site to gather social media posts and screen captures of the YouTube Chat. All of this material helps to further document the work and capture the audience experience with it.

In order to foster a broad range of conversations through social media, we maintained three separate streams on Facebook : 1) the Pathfinders project site, entitled "elitpathfinders,"  with 245 followers, 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. 

The first few posts introduced the event and explained the work to the general public the day of the event.

The next few posts contain information about the work for the audience who do not have prior knowledge of I Have Said Nothing.

The following five posts provide background information on the four characters in the hypertext narrative. 

The next post introduces the performer for the live Traversal. 

The next few posts provide information about the author, J Yellowless Douglas. 

The following posts offer background information about I Have Said Nothing and provide a link to view a portion of the work. 

Two final posts to thank everyone involved in the Traversal. 

Similar to Facebook, we used three Twitter sites to stream our conversation: 1) Dene Grigar's own site that had over 2,800 followers, 2) Nicholas Schiller's site, with 2,200 followers and 3) ELL Team Member Veronica Whitney's site, with over 175 members. Whitney was in charge of posting and reposting on Twitter during the event. The hashtag we used was #elitpathfinders, as this hashtag has been used consistently through the project.

The first posts announce the event ahead of time using the hashtag #elitpathfinders.

The following posts provide details about I Have Said Nothing

The following post is a question from the presenter of the live Traversal to the author of I Have Said Nothing.

Here we have provided a link that published a portion of I Have Said Nothing online so that the audience can read the story individually. 

The author used social media to recognize and appreciate the live Traversal organized by the Pathfinders project. 

YouTube Chat
As we used YouTube to distribute the live video stream from our Traversals, we also discovered that people watching the video enjoyed using YouTube's live chat feature to carry on conversations alongside the performance of the Traversal. We have captured the conversation from YouTube's chat feature at the following URL:​

We found Storify useful as a tool for pulling together all of the Facebook and Twitter posts into one interface. While our story could have been exported as a .pdf or made into a screen capture, the output is not an accurate representation of the original format and presents other display issues. Instead, Nicholas opted to export the story to HTML, save the content locally, and then host it on our web server. Weeks into our project, the developers of Storify announced that the site would not be continued after May 2018, which means we will not have access to this tool in future stages of our project.


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