Relevant Topic. Dated Examples.
Posted by jessaclara
I appreciated the expansion Salvo and Ronsinki (2010) give to the idea of digital literacy, for it allows for the fluency with which digital evolution changes communication. They state that “Digital literacy cannot be just the ability to use certain technologies. Rather, the term must apply to the thoughtful deployment of technologies…” (p. 123). What specifically intrigued me was the somewhat ironic application of the chapter’s message to the chapter itself.
Parts of the reading seem like rhetorical history in technical communication, especially when the authors focus on ambient findability. Much of the technology the authors wish existed during the time this chapter was written, already exists. For example, the authors say that “…search engines barely register any distinction between…desktop or laptop” (p. 122), but Google Analytics has incorporated these (and many more) aspects in its services. Furthermore, the authors foreshadow Facebook’s revolutionary EdgeRank Algorithm and advertisement cookies, wishing for a web browser which delivers advertisement based on “…maximizing applicability and relevance” (p. 122). These technologies exists, and has changed not only social media integration in marketing, but also the way information systems are designed.
However, I would offer an alternate approach to their statement that “…as soon as a design is out of the author’s hand and launched in the world, we see how effective that design can be.” (p. 124). In a digital architecture, system creation does not have to be one deliverable which cannot be altered. Examples include Content Management Systems (CMS), web sites, app development etc. Each of these digital platforms allows for a responsive design. With responsive design of digital space, authors are no longer bound and “…cannot control how users interact with digital space [them]…” (p. 124). Responsive design, created from careful analysis of users’ current behavior within a space, gives the author freedom to adjust to a user’s interaction. This concept, I feel still ties in with the authors’ main point on the fluidity of trends within technical communication. The ability to remain flexible, alert and engage new technology with older methods, is still a cornerstone to digital communication, even when considering responsive design.
I would love to hear from my classmates, however. What do you think? Does Salvo and Rosinki’s chapter seem dated in its examples of non-emergent technologies? What are your thoughts on how responsive design’s ability to give authors real-time response to user interactions?
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