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New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts

introduction

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 On July 25, 2007, the Institute for the Future of the Book released version 1.0 of CommentPress, a theme for WordPress that facilitates the web publication of lengthy documents in a fashion that is both internally and externally networked, and that allows for reader commenting and discussion at a level of granularity ranging from the document as a whole to the individual paragraph. The goal of CommentPress, as the project’s “about” page presents, stems from the desire

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 to see whether a popular net-native publishing form, the blog, which, most would agree, is very good at covering the present moment in pithy, conversational bursts but lousy at handling larger, slow-developing works requiring more than chronological organization—whether this form might be refashioned to enable social interaction around long-form texts. (About CommentPress)

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 2 This connection, in CommentPress, of an experiment into the organization of digital text with a desire to promote social interaction within and around it offers us the opportunity to resituate the problem of electronic publishing in a potentially productive way, and in so doing compels a new perspective on certain aspects of the historical development of publishing. This paper will take that look backward as a means of considering the significance of a project like CommentPress — which should be understood not as the apotheosis of electronic publishing, but rather as one example of a fruitful avenue of development — for the future of textuality online.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/cpfinal/introduction/