18.765 an anatomy of threads?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 08:39:44 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 765.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 08:10:34 +0100
         From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli_at_indiana.edu>
         Subject: Anatomy of Threads

[Sorry for the newbie question. Didn't look it up yet and there probably
are tons of studies on this.]

Would Humanists have good leads on the study of mailing-list threads?

Mailing-lists of any type (academic, technical, "popular"...) really seem
to follow interesting patterns. Threads constitute a collaborative form of
writing, usually follow a non-narrative structure, are defined by
collaboration, and may easily be studied online. There could be (and have
probably been) interesting studies of these forms of writing. For instance,
when does a message become "OT?" There could be an interesting use of
performance theory here. How do specific members of the list influence the
usual style of writing? Notions of semantic associations and formality
might be relevant. Even distinctions between public and private lists would
be interesting as people seem to adopt different writing strategies in each

Again, sorry for the naive question.

Alexandre Enkerli
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology
Indiana University
Received on Wed May 04 2005 - 03:49:56 EDT

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