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Tag Clouds in the Blogosphere: Electronic Literacy and Social Networking

Language Learning & Technology Volume 10, Number 2, ISSN 1094-3501


Electronic literacy today is a moving target. How and why people read and write online are evolving at the fast pace of Internet time. One of the most striking developments in the past few years has been how new social networking phenomena on the Web like community tagging, shared bookmarking, and blogs have created convergences between consumers and creators, between reading and writing, between public and private spaces. Blogs invite people to write responses to items they have read, to move from observer to participant. Shared tagging invites them to analyze texts and sum up their distinctiveness in keywords. Writing online may involve coding or scripting, as people try to add distinctiveness in formatting or interactive functionality to their texts, blurring the lines between writing and programming. Web browsing and reading must be supplemented by abilities in sorting, navigation, and critical thinking. Integration of other media into texts complicates further the notion of literacy. This article examines some of the ways in which these developments are reflected in new tools, services, and approaches to finding, creating, and transforming texts on the Web, and what this might mean for language learning. (Contains 1 figure and 74 resources.)


Godwin-Jones, R. (2006). Tag Clouds in the Blogosphere: Electronic Literacy and Social Networking. Language Learning & Technology, 10(2), 8-15. Retrieved March 1, 2021 from .

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