Prompt for Blog Post 3

In class on Monday, we discussed your third blog post, which will involve the collaboration of all the members of your group. For this post, I’ve asked your groups to gather at least 5 print versions and 5 electronic/digital versions of your central text and to compare them. You’ll have more to say if you manage to find a diversity of versions—that is, lots of texts have Kindle editions and Nook editions and .mobi and .epub editions, and it’s interesting that there are all those different editions, but you’ll probably have more to say if you compare a Kindle edition to a print edition than if you compare it to a Nook edition.

For each of your versions, you should include some kind of image that represents it. Compare the different versions, paying special attention not just to differences in content but also to differences in the material of the (physical or digital) objects and in the experience a reader undergoes as she encounters the objects.

As your group writes briefly about each version, ask yourselves, for example:
• What makes this version of the text materially different from the others?
• Do the differences between various versions of the text say something about how the text is being marketed, or about its presumptive readership?
• What kinds of differences does it make if I read a text in (say) its Kindle version, or in an illustrated version, or in a version in a web browser, etc.?
• What new types of information/archives of research material does this particular version of the text offer us or hide from us?
• If I wanted to produce a digital surrogate for this version of a print text, which qualities of it (beyond “the text” itself) would it be important to preserve? Or, for the digital versions, what was preserved/abandoned in the transition from print to digital?

The idea here is both to help you think through how the print-to-digital transition can help us think about qualities of print objects we might not have noticed before and to consider the complexities of the world of texts from which your group’s object of study comes. There is no specific length requirement for this collaborative post, but it should be long enough to show that your group has thought with some seriousness about how these different versions offer different experiences, and how the aggregate of them complicates and expands your consideration of these texts.

You should write the post together, but only one member of the group need post it to the blog.

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