01 October 2009

The new manuscript culture

In a 'manuscript' culture, the distinction between written and verbal text is not as sharp as it happens in a culture dependent on printing. It appears we are heading into a new era of manuscript culture as social networked content emerges and comes to dominate, as documents become conversations and conversations become documents. In a manuscript culture, such as the period in the West before the invention of movable type, or in China before printing became universal, manuscripts offered a 'more fluid transfer of information' where the copyist (think of 'retweeting' or sharing information socially), could make changes to the text, purposeful or inadvertent, could leave sections out or add new ones, combine with illustrations (as in illuminated manuscripts, perhaps similar to Storybird).

(References http://goodlifezen.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/the-road-to-nowhere.pdf)