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The Pinocchio revolution—when the protagonists come to life : covert story within the cybercommunity… Hart, Melissa Jane 2012

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THE PINOCCHIO REVOLUTION—WHEN PROTAGONISTS COME TO LIFE: COVERT STORY WITHIN THE CYBERCOMMUNITY OF FACEBOOK  by Melissa Jane Hart B.Ed., The University of Saskatchewan, 1992  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in The College of Graduate Studies (Education)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Okanagan)  March 2012  © Melissa Jane Hart 2012  ABSTRACT Enter a digital world where reality and fantasy intermingle and avatars are not only phenomenological but also tactile. The Pinocchio Revolution—When Protagonists Come to Life delves into a digital story unrecognizable in the traditional sense. This thesis focuses on research that examines the covert story telling practiced within the global cybercommunity of Facebook. To date there are no other published studies on this subculture of Facebook. The story involves cybercitizens that are stuffies (in the United Kingdom they are referred to as fluffies)—stuffed animal toys. The cyberstuffies do not represent an actual human individual but rather, an autonomous fictional character created by a covert human being. However, the characters’ identities often intertwine with that of their human creator. Theories that influence the ethnographical study are the theories of hybridity and intertextuality and socio semiotic theory; all included in the broader multiliteracies theory. In addition, the theory of popular culture as everyday culture theory is considered. Furthermore, as the cybercitizens are both tactile and phenomenological, the theory of phenomenological immersion is explored in the paper. Facebook story is both fiction and nonfiction and off-line/online distinctions are blurred as these worlds become indistinguishable. Identity is fluid and constantly evolving to suit the current story line. The role of multiauthorship is key to the creation of Facebook story. One must be highly socially literate to succeed as a Facebook cyberstuffy.  ii  The Facebook story is hypertextual, written using a broad variety of on and offline modes and mediums. It is a novel and covert approach to creating story—the participants are violating Facebook policy by their mere existence. This adds a dimension of tension to the story as authors create with the constant threat that their “work” and cyber identity may vanish at any moment. The research will benefit the areas of education, media, literacy, and the arts. Exploring new ways in which story is being practiced online through a multiliteracies theory is important for educators. Especially interesting to educators and new media designers will be the formation of online identity and the relationships between identity, cyberidentity, cybercitizenship and cybercommunity and cyberartifact.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................................................. i  TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................................................................... iv TABLE OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................................. vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................................... viii  DEDICATION ............................................................................................................................................ ix  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 1  Purpose of Study ................................................................................................................................ 1 Overview of Study .............................................................................................................................. 1 Research Questions ........................................................................................................................... 3 Study Significance .............................................................................................................................. 3 Theoretical Perspectives ................................................................................................................. 5 Unique Aspects of Facebook Story ........................................................................................... 10 Study Limitations ............................................................................................................................ 13 New Research .............................................................................................................................. 13 Technical Limitations ............................................................................................................... 14 The Ethics of Facebook Story ..................................................................................................... 15 Online Ethics and Identity Betrayal .................................................................................... 19  CHAPTER II A CRITICAL LITERATURE REVIEW INFORMING DIGITAL STORY......... 21 Literature Informing Cybercommunities .............................................................................. 23 Online/Off-line Identity ........................................................................................................... 23 Managing Online Identity ........................................................................................................ 26 Anonymity and Online Identity............................................................................................. 28 Deviant Online Behavior.......................................................................................................... 30 Social Literacy and Online/Off-line Identities................................................................. 31 Online Identity as Product of Social Cybercommunity ................................................ 32 Digital Ethnography and Online Identity .......................................................................... 32 Literature Informing Digital Story............................................................................................ 34 Agency, Authority and Audience in Digital Story ........................................................... 34 Social Literacy and Online Story........................................................................................... 37 Online Reader as Producer ..................................................................................................... 37 Cybercommunities and Story ................................................................................................ 38 Intertextuality and Hybridity ................................................................................................ 39 Digital Story and Multiliteracy .............................................................................................. 39  iv  Morphing of Fantasy and Reality ......................................................................................... 40 Popular Culture and Cybercommunities ........................................................................... 41 Online Identity and Popular Culture ................................................................................... 42 Phenomenological Immersion and Digital Story ........................................................... 44 Literature Informing Multiliteracy Practices ....................................................................... 47 Hypertextual Reading and Cognitive Skills ...................................................................... 47 Online Reading Comprehension ........................................................................................... 48 Digital Versus Traditional Reading ..................................................................................... 48 E-book Story Versus Cybercommunity Story .................................................................. 51 Metalanguage and the Creation of Digital Text............................................................... 52 Digital Design for Maximizing Multiliteracy .................................................................... 54 Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 56  CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY......................................................................................................... 60 Data Collection ................................................................................................................................. 62 Data Analysis..................................................................................................................................... 64  CHAPTER IV DATA REPORTING: THEMES ................................................................................ 66  Identity ................................................................................................................................................ 66 Morphing of Cyber and Human Identity ................................................................................ 68 Overt Human Identity.................................................................................................................... 71 Covert Human Identity ................................................................................................................. 73 Authority and Agency .................................................................................................................... 74 Lack of Physical Authority ...................................................................................................... 74 Agency ............................................................................................................................................ 76 Authority of Multiple Authors ............................................................................................... 78 Multiauthorship ............................................................................................................................... 83 Narrative............................................................................................................................................. 86 Morphing of Fiction and Non-fiction ....................................................................................... 87 Audience ............................................................................................................................................. 88 Multitextual Element of Story .................................................................................................... 90 Phenomenological Immersion ................................................................................................... 91 Cybercitizen....................................................................................................................................... 93 Cybercommunity ............................................................................................................................. 94  CHAPTER V DISCUSSION .................................................................................................................. 98 Application.......................................................................................................................................105 Further Research...........................................................................................................................107 Conclusion........................................................................................................................................108  REFERENCES .......................................................................................................................................110 v  APPENDICES ........................................................................................................................................113 Appendix A Link to Online Facebook Stories by Researcher ............................................113 Appendix B Definition of Terms Pertaining to Online Story .............................................114  vi  TABLE OF FIGURES Figure 1.1 Collateral Damage .......................................................................................................... 16 Figure 3.1 The Stuffingtons .............................................................................................................. 62 Figure 3.2 Hawaiian Wedding, March 2010 .............................................................................. 64 Figure 5.1 The Letter From Granny .............................................................................................. 99 Figure A.1 The Rescue ......................................................................................................................113  vii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I offer my deepest gratitude to everyone who made the completion of this thesis possible. I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Sharon McCoubrey whose guidance and supervision was most valuable to me. I would also like to thank my graduate thesis committee members, Dr. Robert Campbell and Dr. Greg Wetterstrand for their dedication to my thesis and guidance. I also wish to thank my external committee member. I am most grateful for the work my fellow co-authors of Facebook fiction put into creating our story. I thank my invaluable co-authors, Mistaya Arthur and Kyran Cunningham, and especially Dr. Theresa Hart for her creative talents in the fields of photography, set design and writing. I also thank my partner, Dr. Peter Arthur, for his support during this endeavor.  viii  DEDICATION To my three daughters: Mistaya, Tabitha and Penelope  ix  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Purpose of Study “Perhaps our greatest challenge…lies in recognizing literary forms that do not adhere to our conventional forms of discipline: authors, works, and commodities. I suspect these forms of literature will be the most interesting in years to come” [Walker, 2005 (as cited in Mangen, 2008, p. 416)]. Covert Facebook story is one of these unconventional literary forms. This thesis proposes that the digital communication revolution (Elkins & Wyatt-Smith, 2008) is in full swing in the world of story and it is busily practiced by unusual authors in unusual spaces such as Facebook. The unusual authors are not actual human identities, but rather, autonomous fictional characters created by covert human beings. However, the characters’ identities often intertwine with that of their human creators. The authors are cyberstuffies (stuffed animal toys). They are tactile identities and cyber identities intertwined. They practice story within a cybercommunity made up of other cyberstuffies. How Facebook cyberstuffies collaborate to create story and attempt to make their story a physical authority are examined in this study. (Please note that all Facebook screenshots supporting this research have been removed by the author in compliance with Facebook’s strict copyright policy).  Overview of Study Facebook story is both fiction and nonfiction. This ethnographic research uncovers a secret world within Facebook story where the boundaries between fantasy and reality are blurred. Off-line and online worlds become  1  indistinguishable. The roles of identity, authority, agency, audience within Facebook story and the hypertextual ways in which the story is “written” are examined. The research includes an ethnographical study of the Facebook cyberstuffy subculture and how this subculture creates cyberartifacts (a hypertextual story). The Facebook stuffy culture is a covert subculture that exists on Facebook in violation of Facebook policy, as one must be a minimum age of thirteen and a real human identity to be on Facebook (Facebook, 2009). The covert human authors are multigenerational, from very young (aged six) through to senior citizens. They live all over the world: Canada, The United States of America, The United Kingdom, The European Union, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Africa. Facebook cyberstuffy subculture is cyberculture. Within this cyberculture is a cybercommunity made up of cyberidentities (the stuffies). These cyberidentities create cyberartifacts: hypertextual stories. All levels of Facebook cyber-subculture are addressed in this thesis in order to fully understand the final cyberartifact: Facebook story. The Pinocchio in the study’s title refers to a fictional character from The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. Pinocchio is a wooden marionette whose creator (Geppetto) desires him to be more than a toy, he wishes him to be a real boy. I use the name Pinocchio to represent all of the stuffed toys on Facebook. Just as Geppetto wants his creation to be real, Facebook authors desire to make their stuffed toys into “real” Facebook identities.  2  Research Questions Facebook story has remained unknown to researchers (until now) and is unrecognizable in the tradition sense of the static book. The research questions of this study are: 1. How is story being practiced within the cybercommunity of Facebook? 2. What are the roles of identity, authority, agency, and audience within Facebook? 3. What are the roles of reality/fantasy, fiction/nonfiction and off-line/online worlds within Facebook story? 4. How are readers phenomenologically immersed in Facebook story?  Study Significance This study is important to the fields of education, literature, literacy, and digital media. Educators, academics and the digital literature industry will benefit from this research. Most importantly, this study is significant because it is the only published study currently exploring the genre of Facebook story and the cyberstuffy subculture on Facebook. Facebook story within the cyberstuffy subculture is rich in sociological information. This study merely scratches the surface of the subculture. Researchers in the areas of sociology, psychology, digital media, social media, and digital literature and popular culture will discover a culture teeming with invaluable information on identity, communication, audience, cyberidentity, cybercommunity and cyberculture.  3  Educators will benefit from this study as Facebook story provides an innovative way in which authors practice the multiliteracies. Students old enough to belong to Facebook (age thirteen) gain knowledge in all the multiliteracy fields: social, critical, digital, verbal and visual. In addition, it is a perfect ‘canvas’ to develop artistic skills of creation in writing and visual arts such as digital design, set design, video creation, and photography. Creative educators might use students’ desire for social connectiveness to develop a cybercommunity for story telling. This research provides a glimpse into a story-telling cybercommunity that evolved from within a social networking site. Educators need to be aware of the strong desire within social cybercommunities to push the boundaries and be creative—the desire to create something new from within the existing parameters of Facebook— a perfect example of the practice of hybridity. The study of Facebook story, in addition to the literature review informing about the creation of successful online sites (that maximize reading comprehension and knowledge acquisition), will inform educators about creating cybercommunities for their students. Academics will gain valuable insight into the evolution of story and how it is currently being practiced online within the hidden cybercommunity of Facebook. Especially interesting to academics is the morphing of identities, narrative (written prior to publishing and in real time) and fiction/nonfiction. In addition, the study explores the question of cyberidentity versus cyberartifact—answering who is the creator/author and what is the product/creation? Furthermore, sociologists, educators and academics gain abundant knowledge on the role of social literacy and creation.  4  Exploration of the unique roles of identity, authority, agency and audience within Facebook story will benefit the field of literature. The distinctions between fantasy and reality will be blurred as a new definition of narrative is created (in real time as well as prior to publishing). The digital fiction industry will benefit from the study as it provides invaluable information about how and why readers are becoming phenomenologically immersed in Facebook story. E-books have failed to provide phenomenological immersion [based on research by Mangen (2008)]. The unique role of Facebook story audience as agent and writer will interest the digital industry. This study explores a world of story unavailable to most researchers. It is a hidden world practiced in an unusual place: Facebook. Unless researchers belong to the covert subculture of Facebook cyberstuffies, they have no access to the story.  Theoretical Perspectives There are many theories that provide lenses for the study. One theory is the multiliteracies theory: literacy involves the inclusion of critical, social, digital, visual and verbal skills (New London Group, 2000 as cited in Elkins & WyattSmith, 2008 and Walsh, 2009). The theory of multiliteracies is critical to the study of online communication. Online communication is vastly different than traditional reading and writing of story. It involves all of the combined literacy skills to navigate online successfully. An unsuccessful navigator will become frustrated with cognitive overload, become easily distracted, or make social blunders which  5  will cause the individual to become shunned by a cybercommunity. To create hypertext, and specifically Facebook story, one must use digital (technological) skills in order to simply work the computer and access the cybercommunity of Facebook. Critical literacy (the ability to distinguish fact from fiction, ‘read between the lines’ and the ability to disregard extraneous information and focus on critical information) is necessary online, especially within social networking sites, as one must navigate information that is both fact and fiction, on and off-line. Furthermore, inferential reasoning (reading between the lines) is more complex when interpreting hypertext rather than traditional text as hypertext involves multiple texts and modes to create meaning. One must be socially literate to navigate online within cybercommunities. Strong social skills provide one with opportunities to network online, thus develop a large reader/writer base for Facebook story. Lack of social skills within cybercommunities can result in a member being blocked from the site or shunned by other members (their attempts to make new social contacts and conversation ignored by other members). Visual and verbal skills required online are far more demanding than those of traditional text. One must navigate new languages (online language that includes acronyms, emoticons as well as global languages within a multicultural cybercommunity) and hypertext (text, photographs, video, graphics, audio). Hypertext readers need to be fluent in a new metalanguage that encompasses all of the multiliteracies. Wyatt-Smith and Elkins (2008) support that Internet reading is more complex than print. The authors suggest that four elements are central to  6  hypertext comprehension: prior knowledge of website structure and search engines, inferential reasoning (reading between the lines), self-regulation, and finally affective variables related to efficacy and motivation (Coiro & Dobler, 2007 as cited in Wyatt-Smith & Elkins, 2008). As Facebook authors practice multiliteracies, they create a unique genre of mulitauthored, fluid, hypertextual and constantly evolving story. Facebook stories are created and read by combining the work and ideas of fellow authors, texts and other modes of meaning such as video, audio, graphics and links to other web sites. In addition, tactile texts and modes of meaning are used such as written letters, tactile sets and props, tactile protagonists and costumes. This corresponds to the theory of intertextuality, whereupon the meaning of the texts is constructed through relationships to other texts and modes of meaning (Wyatt-Smith, 2008). The social networking site Facebook provides the perfect scaffolding for its authors to access the multitextual elements needed to build their story. Creating Facebook story requires the practice of the theory of hybridity which, involves using popular cultural artifacts as scaffolding to manipulate and build new creations (Wyatt-Smith, 2008). Facebook authors use the social networking site Facebook as scaffolding to form a new writing practice that uses Facebook “friends” as coauthors. Together they build a unique form of story. Hybridity and intertextuality involve the creation of new text using other existing texts. In Facebook story, hypertext is created from other hypertexts. How a reader interprets a text depends upon prior knowledge and the ability to connect the text to the other texts from which it is composed. Thus, mulitiliteracy skills are required to interpret  7  hypertext. Mayer (2008) Elkins and Wyatt-Smith (2008) and Eshet-Akalis and Amichai-Hamburger (2004) support that prior knowledge and critical literacy skills are required for intertextuality and hybridity. According to the theory of popular culture as everyday culture, readers interpret texts differently depending on their context (Hagood, 2008). This is demonstrated by how Facebook authors interpret the multitextual elements provided within Facebook scaffolding. Each audience and text is individual and varies as to whether the reader is a passive consumer or an active participant. Readers of Facebook story have the choice, to either be an active co-writer of the fiction or a passive reader. The everyday culture theory proposes that each audience and text is unique. Thus, at times a reader may be a passive consumer and at other times, an active participant. Facebook affords its readers this opportunity. The readers are autonomous and negotiate the roles they have with each text. A reader can become a co-writer of Facebook story or simply remain a passive reader. Each and every time readers access Facebook, they have an opportunity to decide what role they might play, passive or active. The everyday theory proposes that identity, like the role of reader, is dependent on context and that just as popular culture text consumption is fluid, so is identity—identity changes and shifts depending on context. The “Russian Doll Effect” of Facebook story demonstrates identity shifting within hypertext. Like layers of a metaphorical Russian doll, Facebook story creators can try out a new identity each time they access Facebook: cyberstuffy, tactile stuffy, or human creator. Everyday Culture readers are powerful, manipulating popular culture as they see fit.  8  In addition, the theory of phenomenological immersion provides a lens to determine if the reader becomes lost in a book through a fantasy world created by one’s own imagination (Mangen, 2008). If one becomes “lost” in a book they are considered to be phenomenologically immersed in it. Although fully aware the story may be fictional, on some level, through one’s imagination, one believes in the reality of the story. Mangen (2008) describes three main human-technological relations that are crucial in the understanding of phenomenological reading: embodiment relation, hermeneutic relation and alterity relations (Ihde, 1990 as cited in Mangen, 2008). Embodiment occurs when technology is experienced as an extension of the body; it is a tool to experience something else other than technology itself. Hermeneutic relation occurs when technology is a means to experience a textual artifact. Alterity relation occurs when technology is experienced as the object. Arterity relation is vital to the success of computer games, but not helpful in encouraging phenomenological immersion. Readers of Facebook story appear to become lost in the fictional world they have helped create. As the protagonist’s identity is fluid, readers are often not completely sure whether they are reading cyberstuffy fantasy or the human creator’s reality. This is one of the qualities of Facebook story that allows it to be particularly alluring to the imagination. It appears then, that a cyberstuffy is an extension of the human creator (embodiment relation). The cybercommunity of Facebook affords the human the opportunity to experience a world beyond the obvious social networking site (hermeneutic relation). Alterity relation (technology experienced as object) is less important in the cyberstuffy world as the story is fluid and  9  evolving through hypertext rather than immediate action-based technological controls (as in computer gaming). The final lens is the socio-semiotic theory which, means connecting the linguistic with the social. Language evolves as a result of the meaning making functions it serves within a culture (Unsworth, 2000 as cited in Davis and Merchant, 2006). The purpose of Facebook is to be a social network site and the creation of Facebook story cannot be separated from this social aspect. Exemplary social literacy skills are necessary in order to tell a successful story. Familiarity with the language (acronyms and emoticons) used on Facebook is necessary to be popular. Social popularity is the key to Facebook story telling. Facebook friends help to co-author, create and share the story. Without friends to share and help write the story it can remain unread. The importance of the socio-semiotic theory relating to online practices is supported by the all-encompassing multiliteracies theory (New London Group, 2000 as cited in Elkins & Wyatt-Smith, 2008 and Walsh, 2009). Online navigation cannot be successful without social literacy skills.  Unique Aspects of Facebook Story Facebook story is a story told by stuffed animals. These stuffed animals are fictional cyberidentities who tell their autobiographical story through posts on their Facebook wall. The story is most commonly told through written wall posts, photographs and video. The story is open to comments by all of the cyberstuffy’s Facebook friends. These comments often advance the plot of the story by adding to fibula (fictional actions that take place in the story) creation. The addition of comments causes the story narrative to change and evolve in real time online. Both  10  off-line and online events influence the direction of story. The covert human creator of the cyberstuffy occasionally appears in the story as a less important character than the cyberstuffy’s story. These human creators are from around the globe, both male and female and of all ages. There are similarities between Facebook story, fanfiction and online gaming. Fanfiction (or fanfic as it is often referred to) is writing that occurs and is published on the Internet by amateur authors who are fans of a particular media or text (Black, 2008; Mackey & McClay, 2008; Moore, R., 2005; Parrish, J., 2007). Fanfiction, Facebook story, and online gaming, are increasingly growing elements of popular culture. In addition, Facebook, fanfiction and online gaming use new technology to enable writers from all over the globe to meet online to practice writing fictional stories together. They rely on cybercommunity to tell a fictional story. Social literacy is key to story creation success. A player (writer) weak in social literacy will eventually be excluded from story creation. Fellow coauthors will not respond to the socially illiterate players’ attempts at agency and authority. However, fanfiction appears to add another element to literacy that roleplaying games and Facebook story lack. Writing fanfiction requires the author(s) to do more than simply learn the language and rules of the game and then be able to manipulate them in order to create something new without straying from the original canon (Black 2008)—thus practicing hybridity (Wyatt-Smith, 2008). Fanfiction authors base their work on characters and/or settings created by an original story (that they’re a fan of). The original story is referred to as a canon (Black, 2008). The canons are varied but include many popular novels, movies  11  and television shows. In contrast, Facebook authors are free to create any story and protagonist that they wish. There is no original canon to adhere to. Facebook, then, offers its artist/authors freedom of creative expression and story. Researchers MacKey and McClay (2008) point out that writers must be very familiar with the original canon to create feasible text and they usually assume that their readers have a good knowledge of the original canon as well. Facebook story is not based on a popular canon. The fictional protagonist is the sole creation of an anonymous writer. The story lines are original as well. However, like fanfiction, Facebook story practices intertextuality—multiple authors share various audio, video, graphics, text and off-line sets to contribute to the final story. Facebook story practices hybridity in a way that differs from fanfiction. Facebook story boldly uses the scaffolding of the structure of a social networking site that actively discourages fictional identities, to create fictional identities and story. Facebook story is unlike blogging in that it tells a fictitious story, the protagonist being a made up identity. Whereas blogging, although multiauthored and multitextual, is non-fiction. Facebook story, like online gaming, has multiple players in the story. However, within Facebook, each story is linked to an autonomous character that has ultimate control over his/her story. Online games are cultural artifacts created by the professional gaming industry and its authors must adhere to the gaming industry’s rules of play precluding ultimate control of the story. In addition, Facebook protagonists exist online against Facebook policy. By not being accepted by the administrators of the broader cyberculture in which  12  they exist (Facebook), they are under constant threat of deletion. Fanfiction and online gaming stories are not under threat of deletion if they play by the rules of the communities. As “illegal” identities of Facebook, cyberstuffies have no control over the physical authority of their story and will be deleted if Facebook officials find them.  Study Limitations New Research The most difficult limitation of the study is that to date, there is no published research or literature on Facebook story or the cyberstuffy subculture. Furthermore, the story is unknown outside of Facebook. There are however, studies that examine the role of identity within Facebook and these are examined. To compensate for the of lack studies, the critical literature review for this study examines similar studies of multiauthored, digital story practices within cybercommunities such as fanfiction (Black, 2008; Mackey, M. & McClay, J., 2008; Moore, R., 2005; Parrish, J., 2007; Thomas, 2007) and online multiple gaming (Hagood, 2008; Hammer, 2007). The roles of identity, authority and agency of story within online multiple-player gaming are examined (DiMicco & Millen, 2007; Hagood, 2008; Hammer, 2007; Murthy, 2008; Thomas, 2007; 2008; Zhao et al, 2008). Another limitation to the study is that Facebook story is so vast, and varied—the vastness of the subculture community is overwhelming for one lone researcher. It is an area in dire need of more research attention. Facebook story offers researchers extensive information on digital media, social media and online  13  story. A larger team of researchers is needed to cover all of the themes emerging from observing the subculture, including psychological and sociological studies of the participants. Technical Limitations One of the technical limitations to the study was that it was impossible to know exactly how many of the 1050 research participants were a cyberstuffy identity, a cyberanimal identity (an animal character posing as an autonomous individual on Facebook), or actual human identity at any one time. Facebook was unable to load all 1050 profile pictures (friends of Ms. Fuzz Buzz) at once. Without being able to view both the name of the cyberidentity with its identifying photograph, I was unable to discern if that friend was a stuffy, animal or human. However, to obtain a realistic idea of how many of the participants were indeed, true autonomous cyberstuffies, I used a test sample of 250 friends to determine approximately how many of the 1050 friends were cyberstuffy identities. The results of the test sample are included in Chapter III, Methodology. In addition, during the study period, Facebook was in the process of changing its profile page format, which, enraged a number of participants. The researcher’s most prolific co-author participant threatened to quit if his profile was updated. Thankfully his profile site was not updated during the study and thus he did not quit despite constant threats to do so: “Don't worry, I can't contact Facebook anyway, and I will sign out anyway, as soon as they stick me with the new page.” (Facebook, 2011) The researcher lived with little control of whether or not the participants would quit Facebook and thus alter the study tremendously—  14  losing a number one fan and co-author would have been devastating to her fellow authors and herself. Talented and socially skilled Facebook co-authors enrich the story through plot suggestions and sharing.  The Ethics of Facebook Story The nature of Facebook allows participants to be hurt or harmed regularly (Freeze, C., 2009). Although the researcher is not responsible for hurts that occur within the realm of Facebook (as the researcher is merely a fellow participant and observer), a grey area emerged in regard to the responsibility of the author to her fans. What is the responsibility of the primary author if the fans (fellow co-authors) abuse each other verbally or psychologically while creating fiction within the Stuffington Estate (researcher’s) story? Facebook officials reserve the right to delete any offensive material and /or identities from Facebook (Facebook 2009); this includes hateful, abusive or pornographic posts that are reported. This Facebook policing does not solve the grey areas where comments are not blatantly offensive but are taken as such. The nature of Face book as a social media, means, inevitably someone is going to get hurt feelings —as an author, a researcher must deal with the collateral damage within the Facebookƒ story as demonstrated by Figure 1.1. In the following photograph and dialogue (from the Facebook story titled The Recovery) my cyberstuffy (Ms. Fuzz Buzz) and co-primary author (Uncle Horace) try to diffuse (both implicitly and explicitly) a tense situation between two fans: Caribou and Miranda. The dialogue centers around the cutting down of a Christmas tree on the private Estate grounds belonging to Uncle Horace.  15  •  Note: all dialogue is directly quoted from Facebook. It appears just as it does on the pages of Facebook. Therefore, the language contains slang and typographical errors. In particular, the typing of ‘xx’ is a salutation meaning ‘kiss-kiss.’  Figure 1.1 Collateral Damage Keith and Walter showed up with the tree. Lord knows where they found the pot. Aren’t they concerned about spoiling the conifer with warmth and then forcing cruelly out after into the cold outdoors, that sounds miserable. Caribou Better than killing it with an axe!December 18, 2010 at 6:55pm · Like · 2 people Ms. Fuzz Buzz The tree was on the small side but from the look on the boys faces, it was all they could manage. Jamaica has truly been a wonderful environmental advisor to the estate.December 18, 2010 at 6:59pm · Like · 2 people Caribou Thank you, Ms. Fuzz Buzz! Your praise means a lot!December 18, 2010 at 7:02pm · Unlike · 2 people  16  Miranda Forgive me, but what does Caribou know about gymnosperm physiology??December 19, 2010 at 8:53am · Unlike · 2 people Ms. Fuzz Buzz I don't know Miranda. But perhaps you would like to join our environmental team as a co-advisor? That is if you are not too intimidated to work along side a woman of my intelligence and beauty ;)December 19, 2010 at 9:02am · Like · 3 people Caribou Forgive me, Miranda, but as I'm not attacking you, or your knowledge, you might return the favour.December 19, 2010 at 9:22am · Like · 1 person Jed looks like a good tree to me... for as tito says, "thize duthunt kownt"December 19, 2010 at 9:25am · Like · 1 person Uncle Horace Caribou, you know those inquisitive scientific minds, you have one yourself, they are keenly seeking those with similar interests. You have a passionate advocate for the Boreal Forest in Miranda and I sure this shared interest would fuel many passionate discussions.December 19, 2010 at 9:51am · Unlike · 1 person Ms. Fuzz Buzz Oh Caribou, Miranda doesn't want to trim your antlers. She is only passionate about her field xxDecember 19, 2010 at 9:52am · Like · 1 person Caribou I don't think so..... She appears to think I'm an uneducated idiot. That is, of course, her right, but I certainly don't enjoy it.December 19, 2010 at 9:53am · Like Caribou Her field is encouraging cutting down trees? Chapeau!December 19, 2010 at 9:54am · Like Uncle Horace Caribou, there is no way she thinks that of you. You haven't got a chance to know eachother. Maybe you both need to come over to Stuffington and we can smooth everything over with a drink, Fuzzy is keen to serve her ginger liquere.December 19, 2010 at 9:55am · Like Caribou Thank you very kindly, but I'm waiting for Ms. Fuzz Buzz to introduce the NWT to decent French pastry!December 19, 2010 at 9:58am · Like Miranda Dear Caribou, I certainly do not know if you are an uneducated idiot or not, and so would never suggest such a thing. Who knew caribou were so touchy?December 19, 2010 at 12:55pm · Like · 1 person Caribou Thank you, now accuse me of being touchy.December 19, 2010 at  17  1:02pm · Like · 1 person Uncle Horace I think in this case touchy means people love to stroke your soft Caribou hide: all the attention can be overwhelming to such shy ungulates.December 19, 2010 at 1:36pm · Like · 1 person Caribou I think she is defending herself by accusing me. That's fine, I will refrain from commenting on these pages. She was also complaining on another picture about Missy Fuzzy Buzzy and I needing a chat room.December 19, 2010 at 1:39pm · Like Uncle Horace Well, sometimes yours and Fuzzy's mutual admiration does seem to evoke a tiny jealous reaction in some, including yours truly, so sometimes a quiet room together seems like a good solution. Far away from the green eyed monster.December 19, 2010 at 1:43pm · Like · 1 person Caribou Don't worry, I won't write.December 19, 2010 at 1:46pm · Like Uncle Horace What do you mean? Are you going to abandon us?December 19, 2010 at 1:46pm · Like Caribou Won't write on your pages.December 19, 2010 at 1:49pm · Like Ms. Fuzz Buzz Caribou, please stop this nonsense. You will break my heart if you abandon us. :(December 19, 2010 at 1:53pm · Like · 1 person Ms. Fuzz Buzz Caribou, please send me a message privately to discuss this matter xx (Facebook, 2011). Implicit discussion amongst the authors, after one such incident, concluded that instead of getting involved explicitly in the disagreement through posts, we would stay out of the disagreements and, if need be, we would send private messages (as Ms. Fuzz Buzz and or Uncle Horace) to the injured parties through Facebook messaging. Further limitations to the study involved the initial study being reconfigured due to research ethics review board concerns. The initial proposed questionnaire was not able to meet ethic review board concerns. I was unable to contact the covert humans (cyberstuffy creators) directly, as revealing my actual identity  18  would pose a threat to the research. Revealing covert human identities on Facebook places the cyberstuffy at risk. Ms. Fuzz Buzz may be shunned by her Facebook stuffy friends and distrusted. In addition, I knew none of the covert human identities of Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s friends aside from her immediate Facebook family members. It was likely that few, if any, cyberstuffies would be willing to reveal their covert human identities for the study. As cyberstuffies exist on Facebook covertly, they are suspicious of anyone wanting to know real identities. In addition, the entire premise for the cyberstuffies world is that they alone are autonomous characters. To reveal the covert human’s identities behind the stuffies, in effect, destroys the fantasy, thus destroying the fiction. Pinocchio’s world crumbles. Online Ethics and Identity Betrayal In the midst of the study, a covert human’s identity was revealed and thus, the fantasy was destroyed. After years on Facebook, a well-loved cyberstuffy moose “Hank” decided to switch identities. Hank was no longer a giant male moose sculpture (that was mobile and “alive”). Hank deleted his account and became a female woman living in Florida named “Virginia” and the moose lived on her front lawn but no longer existed as an autonomous cyberidentity. Hank maybe online for a short time this morning! If I can get him up and then he will be drinking BEER "Guinness" on the hill for the winter :) He does like his BEER! Hank is not dead! He lives on my hill =:+) I take very good care of the moose :) By: Virginia (Facebook, 2010). Hank’s friends were devastated and though a few left friendly messages on Virginia’s Facebook wall of support, the friendships dissolved and Virginia was  19  shunned from the massive subculture of Facebook stuffy friends. I felt the betrayal of trust that the other stuffies felt. Ms. Fuzz Buzz had believed in Hank. Hank existed to my cyberfriends and I. To discover Hank was no longer a cyberidentity but simply a sculpture on some woman’s lawn was devastating. The story had been dissolved. We had believed in a story that was blatantly false. Hank’s creator no longer believed in Hank’s existence as a cyberidentity. It was as though Virginia had (in a bizarre way) killed her own offspring. Yet, even more bizarre, was the feeling that one must be kind to Virginia as she had indeed opened herself up to be vulnerable—exposed herself as the one who ended Hank. I assumed that Virginia must be grieving for her own loss and felt the need to be kind to her. Although (in a sense of cyberculture camaraderie), I did not feel the need to engage in a cyberfriendship with Virginia. To leave a single kind message on Virginia’s wall was enough—a form of mourning, closure for Ms. Fuzz Buzz (see excerpt below). Ms. Fuzz Buzz Hi Virginia—nice to meet a friend of Hanks! xx Wednesday at 9:20am · Like · · See Friendship Virginia likes this. Virginia Thank you! Nice to meet you also (Face book, 2010).  20  CHAPTER II A CRITICAL LITERATURE REVIEW INFORMING DIGITAL STORY Digital story is a new area of study and practice. Facebook story exists within this framework as an interactive, hypertextual story. It involves the creation of online story by multiple authors. There is no research on Facebook story to date. Tested theories and methodologies that relate directly to this field have not yet been developed. Digital story has been studied using traditional literacy theories (Leu et al., 2004 as cited in Wyatt-Smith and Elkins, 2008). Within these studies, researchers have ignored the role of author of digital story. Traditional literacy theories focus on the role of reader as a passive rather than an active participant (dual roles of writer/reader) (Davies & Merchant, 2007; Thomas, 2007), whereas, Facebook story requires its authors to be active participants and perform the dual role of reader and writer. To understand of digital story and (specifically) Facebook story, literature on the cybercommunities of Facebook, blogging, online gaming and fanfiction must be examined. Facebook story research is timely as it examines the dual role of reader as author of digital story within a social networking cybercommunity. This critical review of literature examines the current trends of multiauthored, digital story within cybercommunities and the current problems with digital story. Problems associated with reinventing digital story using traditional print-based theories are addressed. The review examines literature that uses ethnography to study digital text practices and how educators are developing story-telling cybercommunities. Research elucidating the differences between 21  online reading versus traditional reading of printed text is examined. All of the research literature highlights the practice of multiliteracies online. Facebook story research applies the knowledge gained from the practice of multiliteracies online to the practice of multiliteracies within a social networking cybercommunity. The literature review is organized according to the following topics: 1. Literature Informing Cybercommunities, including: Online/Off-line Identity Managing Online Identity Anonymity and Online Identity Deviant Online Behavior Social Literacy and Online/Off-line Identity Online identity as Product of Social Cybercommunity Digital Ethnography and Online Identity 2. Literature Informing Digital Story, including: Agency, Authority and Audience in Digital Story Social Literacy and Online Story Online Reader as Producer Cybercommunities and Story Intertextuality and Hybridity Digital Story and Multiliteracy Morphing of Fantasy and Reality Popular Culture and Cybercommuities Online Identity and Popular Culture  22  Phenomenological Immersian and Digital Story 3. Literature Informing Multiliteracy Practices Online, including: Hypertextual Reading and Cognitive Skills Online Reading Comprehension Digital Versus Traditional Reading E-book Story Versus Cybercommunity Story Metalanguage and the Creation of Digital Text Digital Design for Maximizing Multiliteracy 4. Summary  Literature Informing Cybercommunities Online/Off-line Identity Blogging is multiauthored, digital text creation practiced within a cybercommunity of bloggers. Similarly, Facebook story is a multiauthored, digital text practice within the cybercommuity of Facebook. Davies and Merchant (2007) examine the blog format as a new practice in literacy. The researchers want to know what happens when academics blog and why. As both subject and object of their study, the researchers examine the similarities and differences in their online and off-line identities, and how their blogs intersect with their academic, personal, social and cultural identities. Davis and Merchant explore the ways in which blogs work as interactive texts, texts in which authorship is often multiple and unpredictable. In addition, the fabric of online text (hypertext—fluid text—the way medium, modality and semantics connect) is examined. Online identity  23  within blogging includes the publishing of one’s own identity as well as an entire social network of others’ identities involved in blogging. Identity online, like text, is fluid. One important finding of Davies and Merchant (2007) is that blogs tend to have a dual social use to communicate with close intimate friends as well as unknown global online populations. The interactive audience, both intimate and unknown, encourages constant self-editing before pressing the post button. However, the editing is not always successful and the post inevitably offends someone. The researchers demonstrate that the unknown aspect of audience creates a unique writing challenge for bloggers. Bloggers must use their critical and social literacy skills to decide what aspects of their identity do they reveal that is both personal enough to interest one’s intimate friends, and yet public enough to reveal to unknown sources. In addition, the unique audience interaction creates challenges in writing style. Text is seldom static. Online practices in blogs are not confined to specific online literacy events but instead reflect events off-line, and expanded events due to online comments and hyperlinks. An example of a static text is a traditional hard copy book. Its text does not change once published. Each reader will read the very same text at any sitting. In contrast, a fluid text changes. Fluid text evolves post publishing as other authors add comments and links to other online sites. Furthermore, the primary author may delete posts or add additional information at a later time. A reader of fluid text may read a new text at each sitting. This unique audience interaction is also found on Facebook.  24  Most intriguing is the examination of public and private online identities. Davis and Merchant’s study reveals that blogging networks blend the public identity with the private identity, the frivolous with the important. These dual identities, public/private and online/off-line, exist in a state of tension unique to the blogging practice. As blogs are presented in an archival format, the “self” becomes an ongoing narrative creating a past and a present identity. The blogger seems to become the identity that she/he creates online—often doing things in her/his own off-line life so that she/he can blog about them later online (Blogtrax 2005 as cited in Davies & Merchant, 2006). In addition, the immediacy of publishing online creates new tension, as bloggers often worry about being misinterpreted or offensive. The author is constantly vulnerable and feels under scrutiny. “We need to be brave to blog!” (Blogtrax, 2005 as cited in Davies & Merchant, 2006, p. 180). Authorship and identity can become confused online. Readers have free access to add to the text at any time and focus the blogger’s attention in a new direction. In addition, tagging and hyperlinks provide a text that is richly layered and “textured” as opposed to “flat” traditional texts. This interaction encourages close author collaboration and knowledge sharing. By including URL’s in one’s blog, a reader can move freely from one author to another, the text being “double voiced” (Bakhtin, 1981 as cited in Davies & Merchant, p. 185, 2006). Hypertextual reading includes links to other sites, and other blogs. It allows the reader to choose which path she/he wants to take. No two readers may read the exact same text in one sitting. Blogging creates a new style of writing, one in  25  which boundaries are indistinct—home and work, social and academic, serious issues and playful ones all interact freely. As blogs are multiauthored, even authorship boundaries are indistinct. Authorship is often not linked to one identity. Multiple identities within a single author is also true within Facebook story. Managing Online Identity DiMicco and Millen’s (2007) research, on the subject of social networking sites and identity examines how professionals manage dual identities (identities pre-career as college students and post-college as professionals). The study of multiple identity management on Facebook is pertinent to Facebook story research, specifically, how the multiple identities (covert and overt) are managed within Facebook cyberstuffy culture. DiMicco and Millen attempt to learn how users manage self-presentation while maintaining social relationships in heterogeneous networks. Their study divides Facebook profiles into three groups: Group one includes users who use Facebook to keep in contact with college friends but have not yet transitioned their use to the corporate environment. Group two includes those who use Facebook to keep in touch with past college friends and new corporate acquaintances. The third group use Facebook as an online community of coworkers. Groups one and two are aware that they are managing an identity for both past college friends and professional colleagues. The youngest group of Facebook users (group one) is least concerned that their posts will offend their professional colleagues. They post photographs depicting socially irresponsible behavior with the hope that their boss will understand it is “weekend fun”  26  (DiMicco & Millen, 2007). The profile descriptions provided by DiMicco and Millen provide insight into Facebook story by suggesting that the employment status of the creator’s identity may influence if and how they create a covert identity. Furthermore, further studies might examine if the cyberstuffy’s Facebook “friends” straddle both their human creator’s friends list and the cyberstuffy’s friends list. Examination of Facebook profiles by DiMicco and Millen reveals that online friendships facilitate closer off-line friendships. Their research suggests that social networking sites are primarily sites that are tools to facilitate off-line interactions rather than sites that create and facilitate online interactions. This finding contradicts Facebook story research. The profile identities of Facebook story reveal that the vast majority are exclusively online friends. However, it is interesting to note that there are serious attempts by Facebook cyberstuffies to push their online relationships into off-line relationships. They attempt to do this in bizarre ways which, are discussed in chapter four of this thesis. DiMicco and Millen’s study explains how varied Facebook identity can be, even amongst a heterogeneous group of coworkers with similar education, socio economic and cultural backgrounds. Identity ranges from very social and candid, to a cleverly crafted professional identity, to an identity created to facilitate everyday off-line social interactions. DiMicco and Millen’s findings provide insight into Facebook story identities and how Facebook story authors might manage professional identities simultaneously with a cyberstuffy identity. The stuffy identities may be a safe way to explore a candid, playful identity as managing a  27  professional identity on Facebook restricts one to post only items that will enhance their professional image. Anonymity and Online Identity Facebook identity is further explored by Zhao, Grasmuck, and Martin  (2008). The authors study self-presentation in an online environment  (Facebook) to increase understanding of identity construction. In addition, they attempt to discover if anonymity changes self-presentation. The  researchers speculate that anonymous online environments are populated by covert identities and individuals tend to create fictional characters and often act out negative impulses online. The study is pertinent to Facebook story  research as it proposes the possibility that the stuffy characters may act out their creator’s negative impulses online.  Zhao et al. (2008) suggest that the new mode of identity created online  evolves from anonymity and disembodiment (existing virtually but not physically). Zhao et al. use the term “disembodiment” to represent full immersion in a virtual world. This is in contrast to Mangen’s (2008) description of “disembodiment” or full immersion as two distinct and separate immersions: technological and phenomenological. Zhao et al. believe that disembodiment enables one to reinvent one’s self through a new online identity. Another way to create an identity is through role-playing. The research reveals that role-playing is empowering as it allows individuals to express their “hidden selves” (Suler 2002 as cited in Zhao et al., p.1818) by removing any physical limitations the individuals may experience in off-line socializing  28  (Thomas, 2007; 2008, Hammer, 2007). However, it can also be disempowering as research by Murthy (2008) points out. Research subjects are more difficult to protect if they have anonymous identities, as their true age is unknown. The challenge of protecting potentially underage research subjects has been found true in Facebook story research, as cyberstuffy creators are covert and their true age unknown. It appears that Facebook identities want to project an image of self that is socially desirable (Zhao et al., 2008). Facebook affords identities the opportunity to appear popular and socially connected through posting the number of Facebook “friends” one possesses. In addition, making public posts on one’s wall from one’s friends is a strategic way to flaunt popularity. Again, the quote “We need to be brave to blog!” (Blogtrax, 2005 as cited in Davies & Merchant, 2007, p. 180) seems to be reflective of Facebook as well. To open oneself up to the public scrutiny takes courage. Many Facebook users temporarily shut down their sites to recover from social errors and some exit Facebook permanently. Zhao et al. divide Facebook identity into three selves. These selves include now self, possible self (Markus and Nurius, 1986 as cited in Zhao et al., 2008) and the ideal self. The now self is a realistic portrayal of the individual’s actual identity. The possible self is the self one hopes to become if given the right circumstances and the ideal self is an unrealistic, fantasy of the self (Higgens 1987 as cited in Zhao et al., 2008). It is likely that not all the Facebook identities have achieved the socially desirable identity they present online (well rounded, socially popular and thoughtful). Facebook users may not be role-playing by using false identities, but they are not  29  revealing honest depictions either. Instead they “stretch the truth” a little to project the “hoped for” identities that they may reach in an ideal future (Zhao et al. 2008). Deviant Online Behavior The online world is not simply a fantasy playground for deviants,  suggests research by Zhao et al. (2008). Even when presenting one’s identity in an anonymous online environment, conformity to norms is first and  foremost (Zhao, Grasmuck, and Martin, 2008). This is probably related to the intermingling and coexistence of on and off-line identities. The identities  created online are real in the sense that they hold real consequences for the  identities that created them. However, researchers make an assumption about the lack of anonymity of Facebook, “the display of users real names and their institutional affiliations make the Facebook environment almost fully  nonymous.” (Zhao et al., 2008, p.1820) This contradicts Facebook story  research which reveals that despite stringent Facebook rules, false identities such as the stuffy subculture are not prevented.  Deviant online behavior mentioned in studies by Murthy (2008) and  Zhao, Grasmuck, and Martin (2008) is described as “flaming” (Reid, 1994 as  cited in Thomas, 2008). Flaming individuals are those who became aggressive, cruel and deviant in cyberspace. Flaming behavior directly increases with the level of anonymity (Zhao et al., 2008). It appears to be most common in  communities with no overt moderation or rules and regulations to control  deviant behavior. Within Facebook, one can report the deviant behavior of  another identity. The offending identity is either warned to stop the behavior 30  or have their account deleted by Facebook officials. Although often  completely anonymous, Facebook cyberstuffies are not usually flaming.  Flaming is not socially acceptable online behavior and such individuals’ identities and stories are not popular.  Thomas explores how anonymity is achieved through the creation of  an avatar (a virtual representation of oneself). In particular, how interacting online (as an avatar) supports the development of online identity. Thomas refers to an avatar used in online gaming as a cyborg. The term, cyborg  describes what happens when the body intersects with technology (Haraway, 1991, as cited in Thomas, 2008). Cyborg does not describe cyberstuffy  members. Much of the cyberstuffies’ online activities involve the multimodal postings of tactile experiences in the real world rather than cyber world exclusively.  Social Literacy and Online/Off-line Identities Anchored relationships are those relationships that exist both off-line  and online. Anchored relationships are key to online identity and require a highly socially literate individual to manage them as noted in Davies and  Merchant (2007) and DiMicco and Millen (2007). Facebook and blogging  require a multitude of literacy skills—social, critical, digital, verbal and visual.  Thus, the current measurements used to test literacy skills are outdated and fall short at measuring the rich literacy knowledge that is involved in online communication within cybercommunities. Studies pertaining to social  cybercommunities such as blogging and Facebook reinforce the need for 31  researchers to use autoethnography and a socio-semiotic approach to study screen-based communication (Davies & Merchant, 2007; Hammer, 2007;  Walsh, 2009). Socio-semiotic research connects the linguistic with the social,  language evolves as a result of the meaning making function it serves within a culture (Unsworth, 2000 as cited in Davies & Merchant, 2007). Online Identity as Product of Social Cybercommunity  Identity is not an individual characteristic but rather a social product,  an outcome based on a social environment (Zhao et al., 2008). Thus, it would  seem then that the social conditions within Facebook and blogging determine the formation of an individual’s identity within these cybercommunities. The concept of online identity (as a social product) is also supported in research by Hagood (2008) and Thomas (2007). These results are intriguing as it would be interesting to know what social conditions are producing cyberstuffy identities on Facebook.  Digital Ethnography and Online Identity Digital ethnography has been used to study cybercommunities. The  benefit of using Digital ethnography lies in that it involves an unobtrusive  study of an online cultural group as they perform their usual activities within their online culture (Murthy 2008). Despite being unobtrusive, it can pose a risk to participants. Private and public spaces online become blurred and  participants often feel that online is more private than it actually is (Davis &  Merchant, 2007; Hammer, 2007; Thomas, 2007; 2008; Zhao et al., 2008). The researcher should be “a known presence” online so the participants do not  32  feel threatened (Murthy, 2008). However, in ethnographical research such as Facebook story, the researcher as fellow covert-participant must remain  covert to be included as a member of the cyberstuffy subculture, as all of the participants are covert. Facebook story research points to this blurring of  private and public spaces and identity. Facebook users interact with “friends” publicly about their private lives. The term “public privacy’ (Andrejevic 2004, as cited in Murthy, 2008,) describes the ease at which digital video captures  subjects both in private spaces and public spaces blurring the subject’s sense of what in reality is a private space. This “public privacy” is demonstrated by  Facebook cyberstuffies when they reveal private, personal information about their human creator.  Murthy and Thomas (2007) believe that social networking sites are useful  ways to gather vast stores of social information. Facebook story research supports Murthy’s findings. Facebook is a massive cultural artifact containing seemingly endless information for sociological research on identity, social behavior and cyberculture. Murthy refers to these stores as popular culture artifacts—a term he shares with Thomas (2007). Despite the wealth of sociologic information, digital ethnography studies of cybercommunities continue to be ignored by researchers (Murthy, 2008). On examination of several new texts on sociological research (Gay, Mills, Airasian, 2009; Cresswell, 2008), chapters on digital ethnography cannot be found.  33  Literature Informing Digital Story Agency, Authority and Audience in Digital Story Hammer (2007) explores the unique qualities of role-playing narratives within online games and the importance of this form of story telling. Within an online game the primary author develops a world and game rules. The secondary author creates the characters and a script outline, and the tertiary authors create dialogue and action in “real time” as they play. Facebook story includes roleplaying narratives, much like online gaming narratives. Hammer’s study investigates nine secondary authors who use technology and the Internet to roleplay. Her study includes many representations of role-playing games such as LARP (live action role-plays), IRC (Internet relay chat), MMORPG’s (massively multiplayer online role playing games) and Livejournal weblogs. Hammer’s study focuses on three concepts: how gamemasters deal with unexpected behavior, how technology is used to support play, and how subjects succeed as gamesmasters. The participants continually juggle agency and authority as they role-play online. Hammer’s definition of agency and authority in reference to role-playing narratives is vital to the understanding of how text evolves online within multiauthorships: agency proposes and authority disposes. Facebook story authors experience both agency and authority. There are many types of agency: textual (proposals for the text), narrative agency (proposals about story), psychological agency, (how much agency the authors believe themselves to have) and cultural agency (how much the participants’ agency is recognized by the other players).  34  Agency and authority are therefore products of clever social literacy. The more socially literate a player is, the more agency they acquire (Hammer, 2007). Authority functions differently in role-playing than traditional texts because it is constantly shared. However, lack of hierarchy of authority means that the authority is handled implicitly (dealing with conflicts within the game without having to acknowledge them explicitly) rather than explicitly (preacknowledged agreements of players’ rights) (Freeman, 1972 as cited in Hammer, 2007). Therefore, social and critical literacy skills are of crucial importance when navigating authority within online games. Critical literacy as one of the most important skills required to navigate online, is also supported by Walsh (2009) and Eshet- Alkali & Amichai-Hamburger (2004). Hammer divides authority into three forms: narrative authority (author decides how the story will turn out), physical authority (authority a text has by becoming a revered resource for generations) and psychological authority (the degree to which the reader buys into the story). To gain psychological authority it seems then, that the reader would have to engage in phenomenological immersion as supported in Mangen (2008). As an overriding principle, the idea of cultural authority dictates how much value one assigns to the text. How much one values a text is, in turn, influenced by how much value one places in popular culture. The degree one values a text is influenced by which of the three theories of popular culture the reader subscribes to: mass culture, folk culture or everyday culture as described in Hagood (2008). How a digital text progresses from cultural authority to physical authority is an interesting question for further research. Facebook authors are on a serious  35  quest to have cultural authority with Facebook story and this quest impacts story in an astounding way. Off-line tactile events are often given story priority in an attempt to give the story some tactile (physical) authority and hence cultural authority. Hammer believes role-playing is a unique form of narrative. It is unique because it is spontaneous and collaborative. However, not all researchers agree. Thomas (2007) argues role-playing games cannot be narratives as their story is created in “real time.” The narrative unfolds as a collaborative effort and thus becomes the story. Furthermore, true narrative is used to convey a story that already has been conceived prior to the addition of narrative (Abbot, 2002 as cited in Thomas, 2007). Hammer believes that narration is key to role-playing. Roleplaying has three core qualities: narration, improvisation and collaboration. As collaboration implies, the authors of online role-playing are multiple. Multipleauthorship is also exemplified in stuffy subculture Facebook story. Collaboration, like narration, is vital to role-playing. Though not all players have equal roles, all players actively participate in the creation of the fibula, text and story. Collaboration is also vital to other online story creation such as fanfiction as Thomas (2007; 2008) has shown. Similarly, Facebook story also relies on collaboration sometimes amongst co-authors of one story and as well amongst all the “friends” whose comments acknowledge the fibula and contribute to advancing the story. Hammer divides text into three components: primary text outlines the rules of the game and the setting, secondary text builds on this information to create a  36  specific situation, and tertiary text is created as the characters engage in play. Social relationships between authors are a major element in the production of text. Social relationships are key to online text production. Thus, using a sociosemiotic theory to study the production of Facebook story, fanfiction (Thomas, 2007; 2008) and blogs (Davies & Merchant, 2007) is imperative. Social Literacy and Online Story How secondary authors quietly share power through clever social navigation points to the crucial role social literacy plays in online navigation (Davies and Merchant, 2007; Thomas, 2007; 2008). Secondary authors navigate authority through tradeoffs (giving some authority to a member with the understanding the secondary author is an authority in other domains), consensus (the author tries to achieve a consensus before exercising authority), and helplessness (unavoidable if the opposing characters are at a higher level of play and thus more powerful). They can manipulate play and story through subversion (when secondary authors deliberately dismiss their own authority to manipulate the story through other ways). Online Reader as Producer Tools and technologies help shape the story (Hammer, 2007). Role-playing allows authorship to extend globally by anyone who has the desire and the Internet. Hammer suggests that multiple roles of agency and authority encourage production rather than consumption of popular culture artifacts. Online roleplaying encourages production (rather than consumption) of cultural artifacts (Hagood, 2008; Thomas, 2007). When readers are practiced at using authority and  37  agency to produce narrative, they may find receiving a story in the traditional sense too passive. Future readers may no longer want to be “just” readers, but perhaps, “active” readers/participants exclusively. Facebook story research suggests that more studies need to be conducted on how the new reader (as producer) will change the traditional role of reader (as consumer). Cybercommunities and Story There are similarities between Facebook story, fanfiction and online gaming. Facebook, fanfiction and online gaming use new technology to enable writers from all over the globe to meet online to practice writing fictional stories together (Black, 2004; Hammer, 2007 and Thomas, 2007). Fanfiction, Facebook story and online gaming, are increasingly growing elements of popular culture (Zhao et al., 2008). Fanfiction involves borrowing settings, plots, characters and ideas from all forms of media and popular culture and using them to create a new story. Fanfiction that uses two or more canons (original stories) and combines them such as Harry Potter meets the Twilight series is known as Crossovers. Fanfiction that changes the original canon’s setting or characters such as the Harry Potter characters existing in a Star Wars setting (Thomas, 2007) is known as Alternative Universe. Facebook story writers do not need to adhere to the boundaries of a predetermined canon. However, Facebook authors must maintain boundaries decided upon implicitly or explicitly by other coauthors.  38  Intertextuality and Hybridity When story is a collaborative process such as in fanfiction and online gaming it becomes discursive, where one things leads directly to another (Thomas, Hammer (2007). Fanfiction is created through using a popular story as scaffolding to write a new story. This practice is known as hybridity (Elkin &Wyatt-Smith 2008). Hybridity results from intertextuality (where texts are created from other texts). How a reader interprets a text depends upon prior knowledge and the ability to connect the text to the other texts from which it is composed. Research by Mayer (2008), Elkins and Wyatt-Smith (2008) and Eshet-Akalis and AmichaiHamburger (2004) suggest that prior knowledge of online communication and critical literacy skills are required for intertextuality. Facebook story is also discursive and its creation involves intertextuality (multiple and diverse texts) in the creation of new text (story) from within the scaffolding of Facebook (a popular culture artifact). Digital Story and Multiliteracy Fanfiction has received negative criticism by some as trash literature (Hagood, 2008). This criticism appears to be based on the idea that mass popular culture is consumed without any critical literacy skills. However, fanfiction is the antithesis of mass, mindless consumption of popular literature. Rather, it involves active participation, manipulation and creation of popular culture texts. The budding author can focus on the actual skills involved in writing. New writers won’t become overwhelmed trying to think up an entire novel story idea. Fanfiction writers can jump right into creating story based on pre-established  39  setting and characters (Lewis 2004 as cited in Thomas). “...not everything that kids learn from popular culture is bad for them; some of the best writing instruction takes place outside the classroom”(Jenkins 2004 as cited in Thomas, 2007). Fanfiction requires authors to use all literacy practices that are reflected in the theory of multiliteracies (New London Group 2000 as cited in Elkins & WyattSmith, 2008 and Walsh, 2009). Similarly, role-playing games demand many multiliteracy skills (social, critical, verbal, visual) of their players (Hammer, 2007). Although Hammer doesn’t mention what theories have guided her research, the theory of multiliteracies is demonstrated throughout her study, as online gaming requires the participant to be practiced in all the forms of new literacies (Mayer, 2008). Morphing of Fantasy and Reality Creating fanfiction indicates that the blurring of fantasy and reality (regarding the fanfic author’s identity) supports the creation of a phenomenological state. The participants of a study by Thomas (2007) blur boundaries regarding narrative, reality and fantasy. This challenges Hammer’s (2007) idea of roleplaying online games as based strictly in fantasy. Mangen (2008) divides virtual embodiment into two distinct categories: technological immersion and phenomenological immersion. She argues that online gaming doesn’t fully support phenomenological immersion. However, Thomas’ study does indeed support the notion that her subjects are fully phenomenologically immersed when they create fanfiction: “You can get so into a character that pulling yourself out hurts—that when you’re not in that world you wonder—you find yourself thinking as that  40  character would at the oddest moments...” (Tiana, as cited in Thomas, 2007 p.160). Blurring the line between fantasy and reality is of key interest to Facebook story research. Facebook story is examined to determine what is fantasy and what is reality. Popular Culture and Cybercommunities If critical literacy is required to navigate successfully online, then critical literacy is key to becoming a literate cybercitizen. Thomas, using a critical sociological perspective, examines the issues of cybercitizenship, cyberculture and cybercommunity. Cyberspace is culture and multimodal texts are cybercultural artifacts which, shape cybercommunities (Kress & Van Leeuwan, 1996 as cited in Thomas, 2008). According to these parameters, the networking site Facebook is cyberculture and the covert fiction created on Facebook is a cultural artifact. The Facbook story helps shape the cyberculture of Facebook. Thomas looks at a few key factors that contribute to cybercommunities: story telling, question and answer games, sharing personal thoughts and opinions, a shared enthusiasm for role playing, and most importantly, connectivity and a sense of belonging as the core of a successful online community. Facebook provides the scaffolding for such a cybercommunity to flourish. The covert story practiced on Facebook demonstrates an active cybercommunity co-creating. For example, one story line will inspire another character to create a story on a similar theme such as travel. It is important that other members respond to the role-playing narrative in order to move the plot forward.  41  Online Identity and Popular Culture The value of popular culture in developing identity amongst youth is examined by Hagood (2008). Hagood uses a historical approach to describe three theories of popular cultural development: popular culture as mass culture, folk culture and everyday culture. In addition, Hagood explores the relationship between popular culture, identity formation and the reader. It is through reading and identifying with popular texts that identity is formed (Hagood, 2008). Furthermore, popular culture texts are the tools through which one can understand group and individual identities (Hagood, 2008; Zhao et al., 2008). Popular culture as a mass culture assumes that readers comprehend popular texts similarly (Storey, 1996 as cited in Hagood, 2008). The texts that the reader consumes are deemed simple and unoriginal. The consumers of these popular culture texts are considered undiscriminating and conforming, their identities prescribed for them through popular culture. The reader is a passive vessel waiting to absorb the texts. The bias against popular culture texts as valued literacy tools is often demonstrated in classrooms, when teachers limit the use of popular culture texts because they don’t conform to literary standards of high culture. Thomas (2007) supports the inclusion of popular texts in the classroom. In addition, she urges educators to accept less traditional forms of writing practices in the classroom such as fanfiction. Facebook story falls under the classification of mass culture and as such is subject to the bias against digital texts—the new and unknown (Murthy 2008).  42  Through the folk culture lens, reading popular culture texts becomes an active activity. In folk culture, readers, as participants and users of popular culture, create identities for themselves through an active process of critiquing and selecting those characteristics that they value and identify with popular culture as folk culture presents a more active view of text consumption. Audience is viewed as actively constructing meaning from the texts to create new texts and to form evolving identities. The audience, then, is practicing hybridity (New London group, 1996 as cited in Wyatt-Smith & Elkins, 2008) by using traditional and established texts to create something new. This is in sharp contrast to the role of the audience of mass pop cultural texts. The audience of mass popular culture texts are viewed as passive vessels, waiting to be filled with trivial texts that will dictate their copycat identities. The folk cultural view of identity creation is similar to the creation of a “hoped for” identity as examined in Zhao et al. (2008). The everyday culture theory looks at each audience and text individually. Thus, at times a reader may be passive consumer and at others active participant. The reader negotiates the role she/he has with each text. The theory of popular culture as everyday culture accepts that readers interpret and use texts differently depending on their context. Therefore, readers are not passive consumers of drivel as popular culture and mass culture theories suggest. Neither are they exclusively active participants. The everyday theory poses that identity too is dependent on context. Just as popular culture text consumption is a continuous process so is identity. It is not fixed. It changes and shifts depending on context. This view (fluid identity dependent on culture) is supported by Zhao et al. (2008). Everyday  43  cultural research studies how readers transform the text, consuming and producing texts to fit with and shape their identity (Freebody and Luke, 1990 as cited in Hagood, 2008). This seems to point to the reader as powerful, manipulating popular culture as they see fit. In agreement with Thomas (2008), Hammer (2007) and Murthy (2008), Hagood stresses that more studies are needed to explore how teachers use popular culture in their own daily lives and in the classroom. Larson (2008) and Walsh (2009) explain how educators attempt to use digital texts in the classroom. However, they do not focus exclusively on ‘popular culture texts.’ The division between popular culture and ‘high culture’ seems to be a bias of many researchers including Hagood. Incorporating popular culture into classrooms is viewed as an important step toward literacy simply because it is the culture that students are practicing outside of the classroom, although, perhaps student’s exclusive engagement with popular culture online is not an indication of preference but rather availability. Hagood’s suggestion points to Facebook story research being timely and warranted. The study of Facebook story fulfills precisely what Hagood requests: studying the places (Facebook) where readers (and writers) use popular culture (social networking sites) to interact within an online community. Phenomenological Immersion and Digital Story The theory of phenomenological immersion is key to success of digital fiction. Specifically, the role of imagination in deep reading: being lost in a book, which is called phenomenological immersion (Mangen, 2008). There are two types of digital immersion: technological and phenomenological. Technological  44  immersion exists when one is lost in a virtual world created by the technology. Phenomenological immersion exists when the reader is lost in a fantasy world created by one’s own imagination, inspired by the book they are reading. Of particular importance is that e-books have been unsuccessful in phenomenological immersion. One reason may be that hidden links cause the reader to become distracted from text. In addition, the possibility that the display might change with a click of the mouse causes phenomenological immersion to be impacted. This display change is defined as attention split overload (Ben-Shaul, 2004 as cited in Mangen, 2008). Phenomenological immersion can’t be reached unless one is fully occupied in their cognitive capacity (Douglas, 2000 as cited in Mangen, 2008). Of interest to authors of interactive online story is that there are three main human-technological relations that are crucial in the understanding of phenomenological reading: embodiment relation, hermeneutic relation and alterity relations (Ihde, 1990 as cited in Mangen, 2008). Embodiment occurs when technology is experienced as an extension of the body; it is a tool to experience something else other than technology itself. Hermeneutic relation occurs when technology is a means to experience a textual artifact. Alterity relation occurs when technology is experienced as the object. Arterity relation is vital to the success of computer games, but not helpful in encouraging phenomenological immersion. How digital technology changes the way we read, is explored by Mangen  (2008). In contrast to Wyatt-Smith’s and Elkins’ (2008) study, Mangen looks past the computational side of the brain. She delves deeper, probing the mysteries of 45  the imagination, in an attempt to determine what happens inside our imagination when we read online fiction. Mangen addresses theoretical perspectives of materiality and how the different kinds of materiality impact our embodied, multisensory reading experience. Mangen claims that materiality matters in reading. A study by Larson (2008) supports the focus of materiality as an issue in digital fiction reading. The test subjects in Larson’s electronic reading workshop experience stress at the lack of tactical comforts. Mangen criticizes past studies for focusing on hypertextual research dealing with cognitive load and navigation efforts and not the impact of materiality on reading. This bias by researchers is reflected by this literature review as Mangen’s article was the only article found that discusses the issue of materiality, phenomenological immersion and digital reading. Mangen acknowledges limitations to her study due to the field being neglected by researchers. The theories the author uses to support current digital fiction practices are borrowed from other technological fields. This indicates the need for more research in this particular area—research that generates new specific theories about digital reading, specifically digital fiction reading. Furthermore, Mangen stresses the need to study what hands are doing—haptic perception  (Mackey, 2007 as cited in Mangen, 2008). Facebook story research supports the  need for more haptic perception research as physical hand movement is required for the creation of digital story.  46  Literature Informing Multiliteracy Practices Hypertextual Reading and Cognitive Skills To understand digital story one must understand how one reads hypertext. In Facebook story, reading is not a passive activity like traditional text. It is an active process that involves writing as well. Reading and writing Facebook story engages all of the multiliteracy skills. How hypertext engages cognitive skills when one performs multiliteracy practices online is examined by Eshet-Alkali’s and Amichai-Hamburger’s (2004). This research is pertinent to the field of interactive digital story, especially for educators. Educators designing a cybercommunity to encourage collaborative story telling will benefit from knowing the cognitive skills used in digital practices and which age group is better at which skills. Eshet-Alkali and Amichai-Hamburger base their study on five predetermined digital literacy skills (photo/visual skills, reproduction skills, branching skills, information skills and socio-emotional skills). Participants’ cognitive skills are tested using specific tasks and the test scores analyzed. Research findings indicate that older participants perform better at reproduction and information literacy tasks and younger participants are better at photo-visual and branching literacy tasks (Eshet-Alakli & Amichai-Hamburger, 2004). This may provide insight into the actual age of the Facebook story identities. By analyzing how their stories are “written” one might determine the actual age of the participant.  47  Online Reading Comprehension Wyatt Smith and Elkins (2008) draw on research to probe reading and comprehension in online environments. Their research points to Internet reading as more complex than print and that four elements are central to hypertext comprehension: prior knowledge of website structure and search engines, inferential reasoning (reading between the lines), self regulation and finally affective variables related to efficacy and motivation (Coiro & Dobler, 2007 as cited in Wyatt-Smith & Elkins, 2008). Inferential reasoning is more complex when interpreting hypertext rather than traditional text as hypertext involves multiple texts and modes to create meaning. Again, pointing to the need for hypertext readers to be fluent in a new metalanguage that encompasses all of the multiliteracies (Walsh, 2008). The need for self-regulation—ability to ignore Internet distractions—is supported by the findings of Larson (2008). In addition, Wyatt-Smith and Elkins also suggest that literature supporting new theories is needed in the study of reading comprehension online rather than importing theories from other contexts. Digital Versus Traditional Reading An important difference between interpreting digital and traditional text is that hypertext enables easier access when gathering information from multiple sources (Wyatt-Smith and Elkins, 2008). One can flip through multiple online sources much faster than one can read multiple printed texts. Thus, printed books require extended time periods for reading while digital reading is usually episodic. Mangen (2008) asserts that digital reading is episodic. Furthermore,  48  printed books enable the linking of memories from previous sessions with current reading. This is an interesting finding as Facebook story readers require linking previous stories to current stories in order to follow the continuing life saga of the cyberstuffy. Printed text enabling the linking of memories more readily than digital text supports Mangen’s (2008) idea of phenomenological immersion: the mind (imagination) is more fully engaged when reading printed text. If one can link memories readily while reading text, one’s imagination is stimulated. To explore what exactly online reading and writing means, Wyatt-Smith and Elkins (2008) establish four key elements: 1. Reading and literacy are embedded in social contexts and cultural contexts. 2. Global communication demands new forms of literacy. 3. Schools are centered in-between multimodal (multimodes include text, visual, audio, spatial and gestural modes of meaning making) online reading and traditional modal reading. 4. Reading online is not separate from writing online. The notion that reading and writing are embedded in social contexts, supports using a socio-semiotic approach to study new literacies (Davies & Merchant, 2008). In addition, the idea that reading is a collaborative effort, is also supported by Mangen (2008). Facebook story exemplifies three of the four key elements used by Wyatt-Smith and Elkins to describe online reading and writing: reading and writing Facebook story involves the use of a social community, Facebook is a global community, and reader and writer of Facebook story are often one and the same. Although Mangen (2008) suggests that online reading seems to lack phenomenological immersion, she admits that it has positive aspects. Online  49  reading encourages more than merely technological immersion (Mangen, 2008). It encourages the development of strategic knowledge that enables one to access, evaluate and transform existing knowledge into something new—thus encourages the practice of hybridity (New London Group, 2000 as cited in Wyatt-Smith & Elkins, 2008). Walsh’s (2009) research also supports these benefits of online reading. His students were able to demonstrate hybridity in the recreation of school texts into hypertext. Wyatt-Smith and Elkins use Bruce’s (2002, as cited in Wyatt-Smith and Elkins, 2008) distinct reader types to describe online readers: the exegetical reader (reader believes the website to be a superior knowledge source), dogmatic reader (reader believes the web to be inferior to print), agnostic reader (believes web’s merits are exclusive to the technical side of gathering knowledge and rejects web as a place to open one’s mind to new ways of understanding) and the dialectic reader (views the web as a facilitator of new understanding and is an informed critical reader). The dialectic reader is the ideal reader for online reading. A digital author requires dialectic readers. An educator must be invested in creating this type of student reader. To encourage readers to become dialectic readers requires the teaching of critical literacy skills. Critical literacy as one of the most important skills required to navigate online is also supported in Walsh (2009) and Eshet- Alkali and Amichai-Hamburger (2004). Critical literacy is most often intertwined with social literacy and is extremely important in successful authorship of Facebook story.  50  E-book Story Versus Cybercommunity Story Larson’s (2008) study applies multiliteracies practices directly to the classroom. This is especially interesting for educators who desire to create a cybercommunity of story telling (much like Facebook) for their students. The author creates a new Electronic Reading Workshop (ERW) based on an existing traditional reading workshop model (using a printed text novel). The study is pertinent to Facebook story research as it provides a comparison between how digital story in e-book form and digital story within a cybercommunity, is experienced by readers. Larson’s research participants are asked to comment on the components of the electronic reading workshop which, includes the use of e-books, online reading and hypertexts, online blogs, online discussion groups, and finally technology based projects such as multimedia productions. She encourages students to keep reading journals using Microsoft word. In one of the most exciting aspects of the ERW projects, students were inspired to create a virtual tour of an e-book and a digital oral history of one of the characters in the book. This demonstrates the desire for cybercommunity members to create characters and bring them to life online—similar to Facebook story. One of the problems with the ERW was that participants were distracted by the proximity of the Internet and the lack of the materiality of the book. A preference for the materiality of traditional text is also noted in Mangen (2008). The materiality of the traditional book seems to go beyond the obvious pleasure in tactile experiences to a deeper level of understanding what happens cognitively  51  when one has a tactile, material experience with a book—phenomenological immersion (Mangen, 2008). Distraction is an issue with digital reading and the Internet (Larsen, 2008; Mangen, 2008). It can occur when a reader is unsure of what is the true meaning of another’s comment. Social literacy is vital within an interactive online discussion group. Without faces, communication can be hard to interpret. This is why emoticons have become so popular in online chats. However, as the study of Facebook story indicates, even emoticons are sometimes not enough to prevent comments from being interpreted by the reader in ways other than what they were intended by the writer. Misinterpreting others’ online comments is a common issue within Facebook story. Larson’s findings indicate that although all subjects enjoyed the ERW, they preferred the traditional model for tactile reasons. The claims are consistent with research by Mangen (2008). It seems that research always reveals that participants have tactile complaints of how e-books and computers differ from traditional books. Importing traditional print based theory to study digital books leads to a lack of theories to explain social, technological and literacy facets that are unique to digital reading (Elkins & Wyatt-Smith, 2008). Metalanguage and the Creation of Digital Text Reading digital texts requires one to learn a new language called a metalanguage (reading images through the grammar of visual design). Creating Facebook story also requires the use of a metalanguage. A study by Walsh (2009) requires middle year participants to redesign a school text using the multiliteracies theory. Walsh’s study demonstrates how existing texts can be rewritten  52  successfully into hypertext. Essential to this study is the practitioner’s ability to enfranchise students by providing them with the literacy skills (critical, social, digital, visual and verbal) necessary to analyze and redesign school texts into digital, interactive texts (New London Group, 1996 as cited in Walsh, 2009). Walsh’s student participants engage in critical literacy and transformed the racist and biased school text using various practices. The first was termed situated practice: the researcher designed a curriculum on Chinese immigration and had the students visit a local museum, The Dia Centre for the Arts. The next practice was termed overt instruction: students were taught a new metalanguage (reading images through the grammar of visual design). This course proved vital to developing critical literacy. The students analyzed six visual texts using metalanguage to uncover racist and exclusionary information (1880’s cartoons and posters from 1882 Chinese exclusion act). The final practice -transformed practice was demonstrated by having the students redesign school texts— challenging the racist texts by adding cartoons and other multimodal chapters to their website. Walsh’s research project provided students the critical analytic tools with which to determine the socio-cultural and political messages within a variety of media and printed texts. In addition, Walsh’s project provided the technological tools to enable the students to make a contribution to modern texts. This points to social and critical literacy being intertwined as in Davies and Merchant (2007). Walsh believes that by redesigning websites with a new set of multi-modal literacy practices, students were empowered with a sense of agency (Lewis,  53  2007). Changing racist and biased school texts encouraged the students to change their lives for the better. Walsh overcame an initial limitation to the study, (second language learners would have found exclusive printed text analysis difficult) by creating a multimedia study based on multiliteracies rather than tradition literacy. This research points to the need of multiliteracies skills to be able to read the metalanguage of online story. Indeed, one needs expert metalanguage skills to be able to read and navigate the nuances of hypertextual Facebook story. Digital Design for Maximizing Multiliteracy The multiliteracy skills practiced in Walsh’s study can be analyzed further through the theories explored by Mayer, (2008). Mayer's research looks at the theories pertaining to online cognitive skills and establishes principles for multimedia text design. The research explores how to make a better multimedia text—one that encourages knowledge acquisition and transformed practice (New London Group, 1996 as cited in Walsh, 2009). Mayer believes that the challenge for multimedia authors is to create multimedia messages that encourage five cognitive processes but do not overwhelm the learners’ cognitive system. He lists the five cognitive processes as selecting relevant words, selecting relevant images, organizing words, organizing messages, and integrating this information into our memory. Mayer’s research is based on the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (Mayer 2001; 2005; Mayer & Moreno 2003 as cited in Mayer, 2008) and cognitive load theory (Paas, Renkl, & Sweller 2003; Sweller 1999; 2005 as cited in Mayer, 2008). These theories are  54  based on three fundamental principles of science: dual channels (humans have two separate channels for processing info auditory/verbal and visual/pictorial), limited capacity (one can process a limited amount of material in a channel at any one time) and active processing (meaningful learning involves cognitive processing and integrating the material with knowledge from long-term memory) (Mayer 2001; Baddeley 1999; Paivio 1986; Sweller 1999;Wittrock 1989 as cited in Mayer, 2008). The focus of the literature by Mayer is to introduce principles for media design that will foster successful multimedia communication; the principles aid in the understanding of interactive text. Principles in media design are important to the success of Facebook story in that a well-designed story is easier to read. The principles that apply to the creation of Facebook story include weeding out extraneous words, sounds, and pictures from posted information; highlighting the essential material; placing corresponding words and pictures near each other on the page or screen; presenting corresponding narration and pictures simultaneously; not adding onscreen text to a narrated animation (this leads to information overload); breaking long explanations into bite-size parts; presenting words in conversational style rather than formal style; and presenting narration with a standard accented human voice. This principle is often used by cyberstuffies. However, the voice is one that is unrecognizable to anyone outside of the cyberstuffy community. The standard cyberstuffy voice requires an unusual, baby-talk, accent.  55  Educators can apply the principles for digital text design to successfully design a cybercommunity for story telling and multiliteracy practice. The practice of Facebook story may not be appropriate in the classroom, as the creation of false identities is against Facebook policy. The practice of Facebook story involves the breaking of Facebook policy rules. Thus, to provide a suitable cybercommunity of story telling for their students, educators must create their own rules. When designers use the principles of media design, readers reduce extraneous processing (processing that does not support the learner’s construction of knowledge and attributes to confusing constructional design), manage essential processing (cognitive processes needed for receiving basic material) and promote generative processing (deeper cognitive processes needed for making sense of the basic material) (Mayer, 2008, p. 364). The principles of media design are crucial to understanding the theories behind “cyber-balance” (an ideal state where cognition is maximized yet not overloaded by technological stimuli).  Summary The literature review demonstrates that authors of online story, such as Facebook story, will possess or develop the critical literacy skills necessary to navigate hypertext. Participants lacking in multiliteracy skills (especially social and critical literacy) will, most likely, stand apart from their more skilled peers and their attempts at story will be less successful. Furthermore, the practice of multiliteracies, specifically hybridity—transforming existing pedagogy into something new resulting in transformed practice—is exemplified in the creation of  56  Facebook story. Cyberidentities use the social networking site as scaffolding to create new cultural artifacts (Facebook story). The review examines literature on multi-authored digital story and the role of agency, authority and audience and popular culture. Identity, agency, authority and narrative have multiple roles online. Especially important to Facebook story research is how these aspects of online story creation are in constant state of flux within multi-authored cybercommunities such as Facebook. The authority of the author/reader is vital to the creation of a multiauthored story, such as Facebook story, as authority must be shared. This means that Facebook readers must be active and critical readers with strong authority. In addition, the literature provides pertinent information about the creation of popular cultural artifacts such as Facebook story. Facebook story falls within the theories of folk and everyday culture wherein the reader determines the value of the text. The theories of popular culture (as either mass culture, folk culture or everyday culture) influence how much authority one believes the reader and the text to hold. If one believes the text to hold all the authority and the reader is simply a passive vessel, waiting to be filled with knowledge (as the theory mass culture implies), then the value of the text is heavily scrutinized. However, if the reader is thought to have strong authority, as an active and critical reader (as folk and everyday culture theories imply), the text is less scrutinized for its value as one trusts the reader will determine its value independently. Facebook story demands that its cyberidentities are active creators rather than passive readers if they desire to be popular within the cybercommunity.  57  The Digital ethnography research suggests that the covert nature of online research may pose a greater threat to participants than off-line research. Online identities tend to be more self-disclosing compared to off-line identities. Furthermore, off-line and online identities are fluid, off-line activities influencing online activities and visa versa. Online identity is also examined within the cybercommunity of Facebook. Research on coexisting multiple identities within Facebook exposes the challenges that authors of Facebook story must face when managing these identities. What is still unexamined is what happens in a cybercommunity such as Facebook when identity management fails—a cybercitizen is unsuccessful of managing dual (or more) identities. The literature suggests that both technological and phenomenological immersion influence comprehension and ultimately the ability to read deeply and analyze text. Technological immersion requires the cognitive skills to be utilized fully without becoming overwhelming. Phenomenological immersion is influenced partially by the success of technological immersion but also by materiality. The research explains that the imagination is not engaged identically when reading tactile story and digital story (specifically e-books). However, Facebook story is online story, which, differs from an e-book and appears to be more successful in sustaining phenomenological immersion. Story telling has been swept up in the communication revolution and it is no longer traditional story telling. Being immersed in online story is not as simple as picking up a favorite paperback. Multiliteracy skills are required to both read and write online story. Furthermore, online reading and writing are not exclusive  58  activities but often one and the same. Cybercommunities demand that their readers are active readers and writers, creating information, rather than passive vessels, simply ingesting information. The literature suggests that Facebook story promotes the practice of all multiliteracies and that the authors possessing the strongest social and critical literacy skills will in all likelihood, succeed at cyber story telling.  59  CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY This digital ethnographical study demonstrates a multifaceted role of researcher as participant, covert creator and researcher. A digital ethnographic study approach was chosen, as the participants are cyberidentities, existing within their own cyberculture (Facebook). The participants of the study are my stuffy cyberidentity Ms. Fuzz Buzz (pseudonym) and 1050 of her Facebook friends (number of Facebook friends as recorded on the final date of the study). A sub sample of 234 friends revealed that approximately 77% (n= 181) of the friends are stuffies, 13% (n=30) are human, 6% (n=14) are animals and 4% (n=9) represent friends who are avatars characters: neither an animal, human or stuffed toy. The actual ages of these friends are covert but I was able to discern that some of the fictional identities belong to covert humans as young as six years and others to senior citizens. In addition, Ms. Fuzz Buzz is also part of an even smaller subculture on Facebook—her immediate stuffy family. She writes as a coauthor within her stuffy “family.” Ms. Fuzz Buzz is one of a total of seven stuffies that exist as a family on Facebook. Four human authors are responsible for the creation and maintenance of these characters: Ms. Fuzz Buzz, Uncle Horace (wealthy bachelor, hippopotamus, uncle of Keith), Keith (Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s monkey husband), Yatta (Japanese born, rare marsupial, wife of Walter), Walter (Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s penguin cousin), Shigemi (Walter and Yatta’s young daughter) and Sam (Keith’s biological young son and Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s adopted son). For the purpose  60  of this paper, I will refer to the Facebook family as the Stuffingtons (see Figure 3.1). The cyberstuffy subculture has existed within the larger culture of Facebook since early 2007 when Jed, the cyberstuffy bear, made his first appearance and very quickly other cyberstuffies began to appear. Since that time Jed has had his account deleted several time by Facebook officials but recreates himself over and over again. Jed still exists on Facebook at the time of this paper. Jed and all of the Facebook cyberstuffies write their autobiographical stories in a number of ways; sometimes it is through autobiographical postings much like human identity postings on Facebook—brief textual or photographic updates about their lives. Other times they publish their life stories in a series of photographs or a video—a self-contained story about an event in their lives from a larger ongoing serial of their lives as it appears on Facebook. Several members of the Stuffington family have been writing their story on Facebook for a period of approximately three years. Keith was the first of the Stuffingtons to belong to Facebook (early 2008) and tell his autobiographical story, followed a few months later by Ms. Fuzz Buzz (spring 2008). Initially, Ms. Fuzz Buzz and Keith were girl friend/boy friend. In March 2010 they were married in Hawaii (see Figure 3.2). They made their home in Paris, France until November 2011, when they moved to Barnstable, England on to the estate of Keith’s great Uncle Horace. The Stuffingtons’ Facebook story is published as an ongoing serial (a  61  family saga). Every week a new story is published in the form of photographs and text. The text continues to grow. Other authors (Facebook friends) post additional text at their whim. The story is fluid and constantly evolving as new readers add text. In addition, the primary authors of Stuffington Estate have the freedom to edit their story. They can change the story in various ways (adding or deleting hypertext) and republish it at any time.  Figure 3.1 The Stuffingtons (Left to right: Uncle Horace, Shigemi, Sam, Yatta, Keith, Ms. Fuzz Buzz and Walter)  Data Collection For one month (December 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2010) I observed the online interactions of Ms. Fuzz Buzz and her one thousand plus Facebook “friends” for a minimum of an hour each day. All interactions are considered a part of fictional story creation, as it is a fictitious identity that creates the interactions.  62  In addition, as a Facebook author, I spent a minimum of an additional hour online each day of the study, creating story based on my cyberidentity Ms. Fuzz Buzz. Field notes were kept and collected daily in the form of notations as well as screen shots. Field notes included copies of significant Facebook story fibula as well as the researcher’s (my) observations about these plot advancements. All information was stored on the researcher’s computer. Names of all participants were changed into pseudonyms prior to saving on the computer. In addition, the nature of Facebook enables the researcher access to all past postings of the participants except those that the participants chose to delete themselves. Therefore, Facebook acts like a self-vault of all fictional interactions within the site. Thus, I, as Ms. Fuzz Buzz, had constant access to all of this stored information.  63  Figure 3.2 Hawaiian Wedding, March 2010  Data Analysis At the conclusion of the study period, after collecting data (field notes and all subject interactions as they appeared on Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s Facebook wall and home page—including a total of eighteen Stuffington Estate episodes published during the study period), the field notes were examined to distinguish themes based on shared patterns of behavior of the participants. Data was coded by narrowing the broad and vast themes into fewer and fewer categories until saturation point (no new themes can be identified) (Creswell, 2008). Evaluation of the data was cyclic and played a role throughout the study between data collection and analysis. The themes were examined through the theoretical lenses that shape the ethnographic study: the theory of mutiliteracies (critical, social, verbal, digital and 64  visual literacies are all required to navigate in the modern communication age), the theory of hybridity (using existing cultural artifacts such as Facebook as scaffolding to create something new—Facebook story), the theory of intertexuality (using multiple media and authors to create story), the theory of everyday culture (the value of a text is dependent on each text and each reader individually), the theory of phenomenological immersion (being psychologically immersed in story) and a socio-semiotic theory (combining the social with the linguistic. Language evolves as a result of the meaning making functions they serve within a culture). The most intriguing themes are discussed below. They include the theme of identity. Within this broad theme there are subthemes, including: morphing of cyber and human identity, overt human identity and covert human identity. Another fascinating theme is authority and agency within Facebook story. Within the broad theme of agency and authority there exists subthemes: lack of physical authority, agency and the authority of multiple authors. Other established themes include multiauthorship, narrative, the morphing of fiction and nonfiction, multitextual element of story, phenomenological immersion, cybercitizenship and cybercommunity.  65  CHAPTER IV DATA REPORTING: THEMES One of the most significant themes that emerged from the study is identity. Identity is divided further into a few unique aspects of cyberstuffy identity: the morphing of cyber and human identity, the overt human identity revealed on Facebook and the covert human identity. Further themes that emerged are agency and authority of story, specifically, the lack of physical authority in Facebook story, the shared authority of multiauthors within a cybercommunity. In addition, themes that exemplify the uniqueness of Facebook story include: multiple authorship within a cybercommunity, unique role of audience, the morphing of fiction and nonfiction and the multitextual element of Facebook story. Other important themes that emerged are phenomenological immersion and Facebook story, and the important roles of cybercitizen and cybercommunity within Facebook story.  Identity The Pinocchio in the study’s title represents the thousands of covert members of the social networking site Facebook. These members violate Facebook policy by their mere existence because they are not real human identities (Facebook, 2009). This covert Facebook subculture is made up of stuffed animal toys. They are real stuffed toys that exist in a tactile sense, yet their identity on Facebook is a fictional one. They function much like the human identities on Facebook, existing online as autonomous protagonists of their own life stories. They appear to be alive and have lives that exist both on and off-line. Their lives  66  are told through Facebook in the form of online text posts, updating their status on Facebook and in the form of photographs and videos with accompanying storylines. They also share story by inviting other cyberstuffies to enter photo contests and attend virtual parties and in some cases, real off-line events. Pinocchio chats with other like “friends” on Facebook—both covert stuffy identities and real human friends too. Pinocchio’s story is rich in textual elements: text, prose, photographs, audio, video, and online chats. It also includes real tactile elements in the story as well. These stuffy identities often send each other real presents and cards through the international postal system—often to locations far across the globe, from one stuffy to another. The tactile gifts are welcomed by their stuffy friends and celebrated through photographing the opening and receiving of the gifts and then posting the photographs on Facebook. In addition, the relationships of the stuffies cross fictional boundaries into reality. There are groups in the UK that meet off-line in a predetermined location. Humans bring their “Facebook stuffies” to meet in person. These meetings of the stuffies are again photographed and posted on Facebook. It is a bizarre world where story and identity are both fantasy/fiction and cyber/real world. The dialogue below is an excerpt pertaining to an upcoming off-line stuffy meet and greet event. Scooby is REALLY excited about meeting his friends in Bracknell tomorrow. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight. If anyone wants to join us, let me know and I'll send directions to the Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey Fluffy meet.....2pm tomorrow....see you there! xxxx  67  Ms. Fuzz Buzz Is this for real? The fluffies will actually meet off line? Scooby Oh yes this is totally real x Ms. Fuzz Buzz Where will you all meet? Buddy i wish dis fluffy puffy lived closer so we can go meet up wif y'all!! Scooby In bracknell..oh please come ms fuzz and bring your friends x Ms. Fuzz Buzz I would love to be there! I am so sad I cannot make it :( Please take lots of pics Scooby and post them so I won't miss a thing!xx (Facebook, 2010).  Morphing of Cyber and Human Identity Cyberidentity is not limited to cyberspace. The protagonist’s identity seems to be fluid and evolving, shifting between human and stuffy identity as the story morphs between off/online worlds, reality/fantasy. The idea that identity is fluid, is supported by Zaho et al., 2008 and Freebody and Luke, 1990 as cited in Hagood, 2008. Especially fascinating and unique to the subculture is the “Russian Doll” effect of tactile and cyber identity. Identity is fluid and forever evolving to suit the off/online situations. Central to the “Russian Doll” is the human creator’s true identity. Outside of that “doll” is the tactile stuffy identity. Outside the tactile stuffy “doll” is the cyberstuffy identity. It is the tactile stuffy identity that meets other stuffies and their human creators off-line in a stuffy “meet and greet.” Then, a “doll” layer is added once again to become the cyberstuffy identity by posting photographs and videos of the off-line “meet and greet” online. Most fascinating, a complete identity switch occurs when the central human identity becomes the cyberidentity and the stuffy usurps the role of real identity. This is achieved through the stuffy posting pictures of their “human” online and or describing their  68  “human” as a cyber identity in which they are the physical authority of. The stuffy becomes the real identity and the human a cyberidentity. The stuffy is now the real physical identity, having physical authority over its human cyberidentity on Facebook. Where does cyber begin and tactile end? The question begs an entire separate study. The Facebook conversation below exemplifies the multiple identities that exist within even one interaction. In the dialogue below, a real human identity “Darren” is conversing with his cyberson Scooby (a bear stuffy). The human creator of the Scooby is Scooby’s “Mama” as she is referred to in these postings. Both “mama” and “Scooby” are two cyberidentity creations of one actual female (covert) human, an ex-girl-friend of Darren (who is both an actual human and a cyberstuffy father). Darren Hi Scooby my son! How are you doing? I was just talking to Mama and figured I had better say hi to my number one son. Hope life is treating you extraordinarily well. I see you were at band pwactice the other day. I hope you had a fun a time as it sounded like you did on the "recording". Love, daddy. Scooby Hi Daddy. I am okay thank you. Mama had a little operation, but is virtually better now, Grandma has been given the all clear, it's REALLY cold here today and windy, and I gotta noo girlie called Gem.....she is a little purple gem and the most amazing girl a bear could have! Mama says you are having probs with your meds so yoo must look afta yourself. I love you daddy and worry when I don't hear from you. Big hugs xxxx (Facebook, 2010). There is no doubt that the morphing of cyber/human identity is confusing to all subculture members. Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s occupation is that of a Stuffy’s Rights Lawyer. She often describes her busy law practice in her Facebook story. As an author, I keep my human identity completely separate from Ms. Fuzz-Buzz’s in  69  everyway—we have little in common aside from identifying ourselves as Canadian by birth. Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s covert human is exactly that, covert. Her human is never acknowledged or referred to by Ms. Fuzz Buzz. However, the other stuffy cybercitizens obviously have accepted the regular morphing of human with stuffy identity and expect it. On several occasions, fellow stuffy friends have referred to Ms. Fuzz Buzz as a lawyer and have asked her real law questions to help them with their human’s off-line legal issues. Ms. Fuzz Buzz is forced to rearticulate that she practices Stuffy Rights law only. In fact, during one negative, verbally abusive correspondence on Facebook, Ms. Fuzz Buzz was verbally assaulted, and hateful words written to her, the human behind the assailant (Boozers Cow) obviously believing the human behind Ms. Fuzz Buzz to be a lawyer (see excerpt below). Boozers Cow Nah super low carb day today best way to reward this morning's empty stomach cardio- Boozers' Mexican Omelette. No, not the one where I take my female Mexican workers, wrap them up in carpet and gang ass bang them with my friends. Ms. Fuzz Buzz It is time for Boozers Cow to realize that a cow is a female not a male and that you should be ashamed of yourself for speaking that way about females and Mexicans and I beieve it is time for U to be put in the feed lot. PS I am a Rights of Stuffies Lawyer.3 hours ago · Boozers Cow Cow is my last name, I am a bull. I shit on the Laws of stuffies. I am the Emperor of Stuffies, I am above the fucking law. I can speak anyway I wish you hoe. Go make yourself useful and make me a sammich bitch.about an hour ago · Like · 1 person Boozers Cow Oh and one more thing Miss wannabe big shot lawyer, you spelled believe wrong. Get the fuck off my page if you don't like what I'm addressing. Don't make me clear you out faster than my gardener Jose when he ran across the border. I offer Mexicans a job and a better life. What do you do?  70  All you do is leach off the systems you parasite. I create jobs. As for bitches, well, I got more paper than they can spend in 10 lifetimes you hoe. All girls become whores when they see me, because they want some of this bling. You aren't any different, except that guys like me, don't wanna give a fuck about you. So that makes you worse than a whore. Ms. Fuzz Buzz You're no Bull. You're definitely a steer (Facebook, 2010).  Overt Human Identity The blurring of fiction/non-fiction, reality/fantasy, off/online worlds and the morphing of identity between the cyberidentity and its human creator is common amongst the stuffy culture (as demonstrated above in the Face book dialogue between Boozers Cow and Ms. Fuzz Buzz). Interestingly, some human creators deliberately reveal themselves. Keithy (a stuffy bear, not to be confused with Keith, Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s monkey husband) is a very popular stuffed bear on Facebook with over 1200 friends. He has many Facebook friends from around the globe and he communicates with these friends through sending tactile gifts through the postal service as well as through regular Facebook postings. Perhaps it is this cyber popularity that has given Keithy’s human creator the confidence and desire to reveal her true human identity. In what seems like a public cry for approval, Keithy posted photographs of his human “Mommy” and included text of praise, “Mummy gives deeeeeeeeeeeeeee BESTEST kisses!!!!” (Facebook, 2010). Keithy’s posts often report on personal information about his “Mommy.” Again, it seems like a public cry for sympathy/approval but it also demonstrates the complete switching of identity. Keithy is the real cyberidentity, his Mommy, someone off-line who exists to the reader as a less important character in Keithy’s  71  autobiographical story. However, Mommy is presented as a sympathetic character that wishes to engage the readers in her plight. Keithy writes that his “Mommy” will be getting her period during the Christmas season and how inconvenient and uncomfortable that this will be for her. MUMMY is extremely ticked off....she says her..."little friend" is coming on Chrsitmas Eve and dat means she will feel like CRAP...*her words, not mine*....for dee holidays. It's strange, I always taught friends make us happy... *shrugs*..... Mummy's can be complicated some times. *giggles* (Facebook, 2010). This public cry for attention worked, and Keithy’s mom received over 30 supportive, sympathetic comments for the post. Using sympathy to gain readers (audience) was observed in many cases. It is a technique used by the author in an attempt not to lose audience when (perhaps) the human creator is too busy (or experiencing a creative block) to publish an installment of photographs or video in the stuffy’s continuing saga. A Facebook author knows that even when one is not in the “mood” to post, one must do something to keep one’s audience entertained. Facebook story is a social dance. To lose audience means, in affect, to lose one’s story, as audience insures the story will be read and shared amongst a large number of Facebook friends. Thus, a post revealing an impeding surgery for a stuffy or human always garners many reply posts. In addition, posts revealing human suffering also garner many readers (audience) support. Pooky posted news about the death of his pet mouse four times in the course of a day. Pooky Pooks is sad. My mousie Skye died tonight. I need hugs..... Pooky I'm wondering when mum's going to come to bed and give me a hug......  72  Pooky R.I.P. Skye Pooky Love you Skye-bee. R.I.P. (Facebook, 2010). The posts garnered well over forty comments. A few of which are shown below: Ella I am sorry to hear that Pooky - sending hugs from Adelaide· Olli Huggies from your friend in Sweden... · Pig *Hugz* from the gang in Canada. Xx. (Facebook, 2010).  Covert Human Identity However, in some instances, the human identity is completely covert. Even serious Internet sleuthing on my part proved fruitless and no trace of the human creator could be found online. Such is the case of the cyberidentity Caribou. No trace of his “human” creator could be found. I was able to discern after private Internet chats with Caribou, that despite the continued fictitious claims, Caribou’s human was not a real vet and he did not live in the arctic. It is doubtful he had ever even visited the Arctic as his knowledge was extremely limited. However, despite the fictitious nature of Caribou, real events in his human’s life were a regular part of his story. He often posted pictures of his beloved beagle dogs, and talked of the recent death of his French born mother. It was difficult, when taking the story at face value, to know when one was reading fiction and when one was reading nonfiction. Online research provided enough background information, that in all probability, Caribou’s identity as a fictional Caribou was a morphing of both his human’s actual identity and “ideal” identity  73  (Higgens 1987 as cited in Zhao et all 2008). An ideal identity being an unrealistic, idealized view of oneself.  Authority and Agency Lack of Physical Authority The more authors it seems, the more authority the Facebook story has. Thus, a robust audience seems essential to validate the story. Authority of text in online story dictates how much social power the story has (Hagood 2008; Hammer 2007). The sending of tactile gifts through the postal service seems to be an unconscious attempt to make the online story a physical authority. If the story crosses the realm of cyberspace into real off-line, tactile space, somehow the story has greater authority for the authors. This is in a large part due to the covert nature of Facebook story. The fact that the stuffies exist illegally on Facebook poses a real threat to the cyberidentities and their stories. At any moment the Facebook “police” may discover the covert and illegal identities and delete their accounts. This can be devastating for the stuffy identity as their entire story of text and graphics is effectively lost forever. The following excerpt from a Facebook posting demonstrates how this fear is constant on Facebook amongst the stuffy subculture. Snuffy my friend bongo awhato has been deleted. if anyone is looking for him, that is why you can find him. he misses his friends. you can go to twitter to say hi to him there. Snuffy Facebook doesn’t allow anyone but humans here. They are mean. Likely we will all be deleted. I have been already and so hace all my friends. Not fair, is it? Snuffy Indeed, watch out everyone Jeb How do we watch out? Not much we can do.  74  Shakes Well fb would be silly to do that cos there are THOUSANDS of fluffies, what are they going to get rid of everbuddy? Even if we do change our names to uman name…how can day prove we are real uman anyway? What you have to give your drivers licence or credit card id?they can’t and wouldn’t remove us all, bad publicity and stupid move (Facebook, 2010). It seems tactile proof of these cybercharacter’s existence is a psychological safeguard against complete story destruction (if Facebook deletes the stuffy’s account). Receiving tactile gifts through the postal service from a cyberstuffy is somehow proof of their existence in the real world. Facebook may delete all traces of the cyberidentity, but their friends from around the globe hold tactile proof of their existence. Stuffies request each other’s off-line addresses through private messaging on Facebook. The tactile gifts give the cyberidentity and their cyberartifact (story) physical authority. I felt the fragile physical authority of Stuffington Estates. In an attempt to create actual physical authority, I took safeguards against deletion through creating a fan page of all episodes, as fan pages are theoretically not subject to the same laws of Facebook as members are. In addition, to safeguard Stuffington from deletion, Ms. Fuzz Buzz urged fellow stuffies to not draw attention to themselves with Facebook officials (see excerpt below). Ms. Fuzz Buzz Dear Caribou, I am writing about your recent disgust with Facebook and the profile changes. I can understand that you are upset with he proposed changes. However, I must warn you that we (you and I) are on Facebook illegally. We exist covertly, under Facebook radar as we are not real humans and real identities. Facebook only allows real humans and real identities to belong to it. Often they delete any covert accounts they find. Ask Jed about this one. So, I plead with you to not contact Facebook officials about your issues. It  75  will alert them of your existence and jeopardize your own existence on Facebook as well as all of your covert friends like me and the entire Stuffington gang. We must be quiet if we are to survive on here and tell our stories! They don't take kindly to the likes of you and me! Love, Ms. F-B xx (Facebook, 2010). Fear of deletion also affected whom Ms. Fuzz Buzz would converse with on Facebook. When fellow stuffy friends admitted to losing one of their family members to the Facebook police, she was hesitant to comment on that stuffy’s story. It stemmed from a fear that the Facebook police would trace all the members of the deleted cyberidentity’s Facebook family and thus delete all of their ‘illegal’ friends. Agency Writers have agency in Facebook story if their cyberidentity can manipulate the story by writing whatever they want in the comments to direct the story how they choose. The writers then, have authority if they have the power to judge the comments and decide if the direction of the story is accepted or rejected (Hammer, 2007). It became obvious as the study progressed, that ultimately, the primary author(s) are responsible for the direction of the story and hold ultimate authority. The primary author can reject any attempts at agency that are unwanted by the four principal authors of Stuffington Estate. When the physical authority over the tactile stuffies rested with Keith’s human, (he had these in his sole possession for a time during the beginning of the study period), the researcher had agency, but no authority. Thus, it was the case of Stuffington Estate writers, that the writer in possession of the tactile stuffies had access to photographing these stuffies and  76  therefore held ultimate authority. The following excerpt below is taken from my research field notes. It demonstrates how frustrated (as an author) I had become on two separate instances when I was unable to advance the plot. -Trouble as KW (Keith’s creator) has all the stuffies and is being a control freak and refusing to help me “play” the game by taking a photo of a sundae for me. Pleaded on fb saying he must be in some sort of reclusive depression. T (Uncle Horace’s human creator) took over and had a right melt-down crying-jag and that got the stubborn little bugger to post a few pics. Would send for the stuffies but I am afraid they are irreplaceable if they were to get lost on route. Won’t leave Fuzz B there again. Although his refusal to be a team member makes it hard to write the story with him I am hopeful our newest member will be able to continue the story and leave Keith out of it if he so wishes. Fuzz B and Horace can dominate if need be with Walter too. -Finally!!! Horace showed his face on fb and we have a story to tell. Before this my partner Keith was being a control freak and refusing to play at all. However, the introduction of Horace should get things going again!!!! Sometimes the attempts at agency are disgruntled attacks on the main Stuffington Estate protagonists. The following Facebook dialogue demonstrates an unprovoked attack on Uncle Horace, yet more specifically, on the covert human writer behind Uncle Horace, who is a veterinarian in real life. The assailant is Stuffington Estates number one fan Caribou who has been “pretending” that his real human identity is a vet. Uncle Horace’ human is a real vet and thus was able to discern that Caribou’s human identity was not a real vet. Caribou No? I thought you were considering me as locum merchandise? A sort of slave labour, as I remember from my past locum stints.... You present your worst clients in a positive light to get the poor locum to deal with things you don't want to think about: the crazy, neurotic and sometimes sex-crazed people with perfectly healthy animals who just want the VET. Or the ones who don't call until the poor animal has been sick for months and they've been giving it witchcraft and the like. I'll bet that you had a lot of fun as a young guy filling in, and happy to pass the fun on! Sorry that I'm a little old to fall for it, and indeed for whoring in  77  general. Caribou life is aging (Facebook, 2010). Thus, dealing with Caribou exemplified that authority of story includes maintaining an overall opinion of the mental stability of the other co-authors (fans) and trying to navigate story around any characters that appeared to be unstable. Authority of Multiple Authors Multiple authorship within Facebook story is examined using online gaming model for multiple authors as primary, secondary and tertiary (Hammer, 2007). The online gaming model of authorship is used, as there are few studies on authorship available that describe multiple-authorship within interactive online story at the time of this study. The primary author creates the world, the secondary author creates the characters, setting, initial plot and the tertiary authors create dialogue in real time as they converse on Facebook (Hammer, 2007). Stuffington Estate evolved from the collaborative efforts of four primary authors. Within the primary authors there is a hierarchy of authorship. The idea for the story is imagined along with a series of corresponding visuals in Stuffington Estates story by each author and then discussed online, in person or on the telephone. One author steps forward to become the primary author/photographer— this is the author who has the most interesting story to tell as decided amongst the four authors or more often, who has access to the tactile stuffies and set/costume equipment (as the four primary authors live four hundred kilometers from each other). Once photographs are taken and selected, script is added to each photo. Next, the secondary authors continue the story through more script. This is all written pre-publishing. Amongst the primary authors there is give and take. Often  78  one author posts situations about another primary character that the other author does not believe fits with their character. The other author must roll with it and try to smooth the offending characterization (narration) over at a later time—once the story is published. Though sometimes, the author refuses to allow such a story line about their character to be published so it is removed prior to publishing. Once it is published, friends (tertiary authors) add to the narrative in real time and with video and photo additions. Often friends post related videos and photographs on their own walls simultaneously as the narrative continues to develop in real time, in several locations within Facebook. These posts influence what will be written in the narrative and advance the story. As in the case of when Caribou posted a link to a nature video about a hippopotamus as one of Stuffington’s protagonists is a hippopotamus stuffy (Uncle Horace). The video describes the most dominant male hippo as a beachmaster. Thus, Uncle Horace as a beachmaster, became a new plot line for Stuffington Estates’ story. One might think that friends as tertiary authors carry little or no authority in the story. However, this is surprisingly untrue. When a major fan such as Caribou (who comments regularly on the story and advances the plot through posts on his wall) threatened to quit commenting due to hurt feelings, suddenly, the primary authors were pleading with him to stay; afraid the removal of such a voluntary author might jeopardize the future of the story (see Figure 1.1). In such a case, the volunteer author’s suggestions are frequently allowed to dictate the direction of the story through narrative in real time and wall postings. Thus, audience feedback and friends as authors are paramount to the advancement of story. If a story  79  receives no comments from tertiary authors, the story exists but in a less collaborative form. A large part of the draw of this type of story telling is in the social connectiveness with the other authors (friends). It motivates the primary authors to keep publishing. Agency and authority are products of clever social literacy. Thus, the more socially literate authors are, the more agency they acquire, agency being the ability to suggest plots ideas and authority having the ability to accept or reject agency suggestions (Hammer 2007). The more socially savvy and technologically savvy and creatively savvy the cyberstuffies, the more I was open to their plot suggestions and include them in my Stuffington Estates story through tagging. Stuffington’s authors tag the most popular stuffies on Facebook—to ensure a big audience and an appreciative audience. If the Stuffington authors value the cyberstuffy’s creative work, perhaps they share a similar aesthetic appreciation and they will enjoy Stuffington’s work too. As well, if the cyberstuffies are tagged and they are popular, then all of their fans will look at the Stuffington Estate story to check out their friend. There are many types of agency: textual (how much control one has over the text). All authors have this control with the primary authors having absolute control (Hammer 2007). In fact, whoever is the top primary author of each particular story seems to hold the greatest textual agency. The top primary author position is fluid and belongs to the initial episode idea creator, and then to the set designer/costume designer, followed by the photographer. Sometimes one author does all of these roles, though, a different primary author may photograph each episode. Within agency of story there is also narrative agency (control over  80  story). This is shared amongst the three primary authors. This is discussed in person, or privately online or by telephone prior to any tactile building of sets. Each primary author has equal agency for suggesting narrative. However, whether these suggestions are used in the narrative is determined by the primary author(s) with the most authority. Authority functions differently in role-playing (such as the creation of a cyberstuffy identity within Facebook) than traditional texts because it is constantly shared (Hammer, 2007). Facebook story has a hierarchy of authority based on primary authors. Authority is dealt with explicitly behind the scenes with phone conversations, online Facebook messages, Facebook chats and in person chats. Ideas for the story are passed around and checked out before photography starts. All primary authors have veto power for their own characters. Furthermore, although they may not have veto power over the other characters, each primary character’s opinion counts and can persuade the other author from taking the story in a certain direction. Walsh’s (2009) and Eshet-Alkali and Amichai-Hamburger’s (2004) research also supports the idea that social and critical literacy skills are critical when navigating authority online. In addition, it is the primary author of each particular episode that holds ultimate authority over that episode. This author is primary scriptwriter, set designer and often the photographer. Hammer (2007) divides authority into many forms as well: narrative authority (deciding how the story will turn out), physical authority (authority a text has by becoming a revered resource for generations) and psychological  81  authority (the degree to which the reader buys into the story). To gain psychological authority, it seems then, that the reader has to engage in phenomenological immersion (as supported in Mangen, 2008). Stuffington Estate writers seem to have succeeded on this point. In private messages, Caribou chats online with the researcher and fellow Stuffington writers as though the story is real—refusing to acknowledge differently. The Face book excerpt below, demonstrates how Caribou believes, on some level, the story that Ms. Fuzz Buzz was planning on walking to the arctic to visit Caribou. This is phenomenological immersion, the human mind behind Caribou is immersed and “playing along” within the imaginary world of Stuffington Estates. Caribou sent the following private message to Ms. Fuzz Buzz. (In truth, the human writer behind Ms. Fuzz Buzz was taking a few days break from Stuffington Estate posts). Caribou December 19, 2010 at 8:55pm Report Horace is very worried. He says you went out in the snow and he hasn't seen you since. I hope you are okay. Please reassure us all. I am worried, too (Facebook, 2010). How much value one places on popular culture (Hagood, 2008; Hammer, 2007) determines the cultural authority of the text (how much value we assign to the text). If one views popular culture as trash, then the popular cultural texts will be disregarded as meaningless entertainment and not saved for future generations to read. The researcher proposes that how a digital text becomes a physical authority is an interesting question for further research when addressing less tactile forms of texts such as digital texts that are fluid and evolving. At the moment this paper is being written, Stuffington Estate hangs precariously inside the walls of Facebook culture; perhaps having no physical authority, unless the  82  Stuffington Estate fan pages do stand the test of deletion. However, Stuffington Estate appears to have cultural authority as Stuffington Estate has fans, readers, coauthors, and friends. One Stuffington Estate episode had four hundred and sixty six viewers in a mere two days from the time it was first published. The cyberidentities exist within a cyberculture (Facebook) and these cyberidentities create cyberartifacts (story). Can something that exists in cyberspace be a cultural authority? Yes, because it exists beyond the tactile, into the phenomenological—beyond fantasy into reality, beyond fiction into nonfiction. There seems to be no realm untouched by a Facebook stuffy.  Multiauthorship Collaboration is vital to multiauthorship. Even though not all authors have equal authority, all writers actively participate in the creation of the fibula (fictional actions that take place in the story), text and story to some degree. Friends who are the most frequent and regular tertiary authors of the story are given more agency and authority than others. Their wall posts will be checked for ideas regularly that primary authors might use to enhance the story. In addition, their ideas will often be expanded upon and written into the next episode prior to publishing online. The ideas proposed by tertiary authors whose comments are infrequent are not taken as seriously as those friends well known to the authors by means of frequent Facebook chats and post exchanges. Again, social literacy is paramount for any author navigating Facebook story. Particularly fascinating is how authors quietly share power through clever social navigation. This elucidates the crucial role social literacy plays in online  83  navigation (Davies & Merchant, 2006; DiMicco & Millen, 2007; Eshet-Alkali & Amichai-Hamburger, 2004; Thomas, 2007; 2008; Walsh, 2009). One can manipulate play and story regardless of the other author’s desires. Figure 4.17 is an example of subversion, when secondary authors deliberately ditch their own authority to manipulate the story through other ways (Hammer, 2007). Ms. Fuzz Buzz wanted Uncle Horace to stop being so boastful and excitable as it seemed out of his character and thus she instructed him to go to bed, as she was concerned for his health (see Facebook excerpt below). Uncle Horace Hey, I looked it up and somehow it does have to do with what side the bread falls on. I feel like a genius!!! Caribou I don't know. Uncle Horace What don't you know? That I am a genius? Don't worry I won't hold it against you. Genius is rarely recognized while the person is alive. I've only got a few years and then recognition galore! Ms. Fuzz Buzz Uncle Horace! I think it is past your bed time. · Like · 1 person Uncle Horace Ms. Fuzz Buzz, are you embarrassed that I am just getting my due? Ms. Fuzz Buzz Not at all dear Uncle. I am only concerned that perhaps your brilliance is clouding your humbleness ;) · Like · 1 person Uncle Horace Okay it has something basically to do with maybe not recognizing the people you might be indebted to . Hence Fuzzy with regard to her recognition of me.January 5 at 8:54pm · Like · 1 person Uncle Horace Bah humbug! Who needs humbleness when you are a beachmaster  84  galore!January 5 at 8:55pm · Like · 1 person Ms. Fuzz Buzz Bed time Beachmaster!January 5 at 8:58pm · Like · 1 person Uncle Horace Fuzzy, I'm just getting warmed up! I finally feel my strength returning after that long illness. You should be pleased as punch that the old Horace has returned thanks to your energy laden glasses of water!January 5 at 9:01pm · Like · 2 people Ms. Fuzz Buzz Yes, dear Uncle I am pleased. Yet you must be careful and not over do it. And I fear it was not my water you were sipping tonight. I talked with Walter, Yatta and Keith and between the three of them they accidentally served you a total of six martinis tonight!January 5 at 9:07pm · Like Uncle Horace What?!! It tasted like water! What are you people trying to do to me. Where were the olives. I only can tell by the olives!January 5 at 9:08pm · Like Ms. Fuzz Buzz I am sorry dear Uncle. I told Keith you were only to have one martini tonight. Apparently no one told Yatta and Walter.January 5 at 9:10pm · Like Uncle Horace I'm still distressed by the lack of olives. There has to be a rule. Maybe we could post it in the kitchen - No maritinis without olives. I could die!January 5 at 9:11pm · Like · 1 person Ms. Fuzz Buzz Yes, a good rule. I will post the notice in the salon. Now I must retire also as the day was rather exhausting.January 5 at 9:14pm · Like Uncle Horace Night Fuzzy, sweet dreams!January 5 at 9:15pm · Like (Facebook, 2010).  85  Narrative Unlike traditional fiction, the narrative of Facebook story evolves and  grows in real time. However, its foundation is traditional, as the initial  Stuffington Estates’ narrative is created prior to publication, based on a  preconceived story idea. However, unlike traditional print-based fiction, the  narrative evolves and grows in real time. Facebook story is a narrative as it is a story of connected events, some of which are written pre-publishing and  others added by multiple authors in real time. Sometimes ideas for the real  time narrative are discussed pre-publishing between the primary authors via the telephone and Facebook messaging. Sometimes theses ideas are not  discussed at all and the real time narration exchanges between the primary authors is entirely spontaneous and collaborative. Thomas (2007) argues  role-playing games cannot be narrative as the story is created in real time. In Facebook story, the narrative often unfolds as a collaborative effort and thus becomes the story. True narrative is used to describe a story that has been preconceived, prior to the addition of dialogue (Abbot, 2002 as cited in  Thomas, 2007). Facebook story is not exclusively role-playing (although  humans are the creators behind autonomous cyberidentities, sometimes the humans are overt identities and exist in the story as other protagonists) its narrative is created partially in real time. Facebook story does not fit the traditional mold of a narrative story or an online role-playing game. The  morphing of a preconceived narrative with real time narrative best describes Facebook story.  86  Morphing of Fiction and Non-fiction Facebook story is not typical fiction. The cyberidentity exists as an autonomous identity independent of its human creator both as a member of the Facebook community and as an independent tactile object. However, in most cases, the cyberidentity acknowledges its human creator often, referring to the human as “my human,” “my daddy,” “my mommy.” This human creator is the nonfiction element. The stuffy’s story and reality exist simultaneously with its human’s reality. One doesn’t know for sure what is fiction and what is reality. When a stuffy (Jed) announces he is afraid, he is going in for surgery tomorrow. In some cases it is the human who is scheduled for surgery, in other cases it is fiction, the stuffy has created a surgery in an attempt to gain an audience out of sympathy—a very common method. Sympathy posts are contagious. One stuffy posts that their human is sick and needs hugs, and soon many more copycat posts appear. Sometimes it is the human who is ill and sometimes the stuffy—it is often very difficult to obtain the truth. In addition, the stuffy often talks about its human in the third person. When one reads Facebook story one is never sure if one is reading the human’s reality or the cyberstuffy’s fiction. The facebook excerpt below, demonstrates the stuffy Keithy, reporting on his human’s (Mummy) offline life (i.e. “rents” is slang for parents). The readers are unsure whether they are reading fiction or whether Keithy’s human creator has indeed had a disagreement with her spouse.  87  Keithy T Bear Dee rents, got into, a non verbal communicative tiff.....Daddy's gone to bed....Mummy has dee TV, and me.....well.....I'm not saying a dang ting...I'm playing statue tonight!!! (Facebook, 2010).  Audience The role of audience as authors exemplifies the critical and unique importance of audience in Facebook story. The audience is made up of primary, secondary and tertiary authors as well as inactive readers. It is the role of the primary and secondary authors to gather an audience long before publishing one’s “episode” online. Audience solicitation begins the very first time a stuffy attempts to gain new friends on Facebook. Once you have left your calling card—a brief upbeat message on another stuffy’s wall, the dance begins. The Facebook excerpt below, demonstrates two separate attempts to gain audience by Ms. Fuzz-Buzz. She left these brief messages on two separate friends’ Facebook walls (note *** surrounding text indicates a desire for the action to take place in reality). Ms. Fuzz-Buzz We are missing your hansom face and interesting adventures Jed. Is your human better yet? xx Ms. Fuzz-Buzz You are way too cute Keithy! ***gives Keithy a little kiss goodnight on his forehead*** (Facebook, 2010) To keep one’s readers, one must court the audience constantly. Leaving friendly messages on the other stuffies’ Facebook walls, sending private messages and most importantly commenting positively on each and every post the stuffy makes. If the authors get lazy, and forget to court the audience, they lose fans, and tertiary authors. Sometimes one’s friends, fans and tertiary authors are unwanted— they distract from the story with vile, rude or hateful messages. In this case the  88  friend is deleted and or blocked from commenting. Even this is not so clear-cut. Asked to befriend a “gollywog” stuffy, Ms. Fuzz Buzz was hesitant; knowing gollywogs are banned from public books, as they are considered racist. Befriending a character that is considered a racist representation of a cultural group might be misinterpreted and alienate some hard won friends of Ms. Fuzz Buzz. Primary authors are also audience; they read fellow primary author’s work often in real time, like the tertiary authors (audience). All Facebook members of the stuffy subculture are a morphing of audience and author. But good story telling alone does not guarantee an audience. The social connectiveness of the cybercommunity is what guarantees an audience. Cyberstuffies court their audience; they are agents for their own story. They gather the audience, their stories entertain the audience and engage them in co-authoring, and then they keep the audience through constant social connection within the Facebook cyberstuffy community. It is the friendships that keep the story alive: rewarding frequent tertiary authors with mentions in the next narrative, tagging regular tertiary authors in the first photograph of each new episode. The reason for this is two fold: one, to draw attention to the story and gather audience and two, to reward our audience, letting them know we value their participation and want them involved in our story. Facebook popularity does not come without work. Keithy, when approached for help by Ms. Fuzz Buzz, (because no one seemed to be commenting on her Stuffington Estate stories) worked hard, helping Ms. Fuzz Buzz gain popularity on Facebook. Through posts on his wall, “Hey Everyone...yoo gotta  89  check out my furriend Ms. Fuzz-Buzz photo stories. Dey are so well done, and beary entertaining...xoxoxo,” Facebook, 2010. His help proved invaluable, following his suggestions, Ms. Fuzz Buzz did rise in popularity and gain regular fans (readers) of Stuffington Estates. It was very easy to feel kinship with Keithy as he went out of his way to help his Facebook friend. To be popular on Facebook is the key to story telling on Facebook. A story without a reader cannot be told, especially when told within Facebook, where all stories rely on the active participation of audience in advancing the story. The following dialogue is written by Caribou: “Boo, sucks! Not the whims of friends, but respect for the great trees of Stuffington” (Facebook, 2010). The Facebook excerpt demonstrates Caribou’s negative reaction to cutting down a Christmas tree. The dialogue changed the plot of Stuffington’s story. Instead of cutting down a tree, they decided to dig one up and replant it. This objection to the original plot that involved harvesting a Christmas tree from the estate, caused the entire plot to shift and focus on “green” Christmas ideas, crafts and inspired the Stuffington writers to describe the forest on the estate more elaborately.  Multitextual Element of Story The creation of Facebook story is multitextual. Not only does the story exist in photos, videos and text online but it also exists in tactile form in sets costumes, props and doll furniture. It also exists in California, inside Facebook cyber warehouses. Furthermore, the story exists inside the mind of the human behind the stuffy, as well as existing online in a world of stuffies. Unfortunately, its existence ends sometimes in the misery of the human mind; a hurt tertiary author, offended by another stuffy’s comment,  90  deletes their own account out of fear and failure; a sense of failure that somehow, they failed to be fully social literate online and offended someone or were offended. Also, fear of the unknown: perhaps the human behind the offending stuffy is a dangerous psychopath and might try and find out their true identity and hunt them down. Some friends have quit Facebook over fear of retaliation from covert human beings. Others stay after soothing words from friends (see excerpt below). Ms. Fuzz Buzz December 19, 2010 at 2:03pm Dear Caribou, I am personally sorry if you have been hurt by words on our pages. You are a dear friend to all of us at Stuffington Estate and we don't want to lose you. I hope you will find in your heart to remain our friend. Love, Fuzz-Buzz xx (Facebook, 2010).  Phenomenological Immersion A criticism of eBooks has been that they are incapable of fostering phenomenological immersion like a tactile book can (Mangen 2008). However, Facebook story differs from traditional digital fiction in that the study reveals that the readers are indeed becoming phenomenologically immersed in the story. The readers begin to believe, on some level, that the fictional characters and their world exist in reality. As the Facebook excerpt below demonstrates, a Facebook friend sent a personal message to Uncle Horace after a new Stuffington Estate story had not appeared on Facebook for about a month. Julie We haven't heard much from antoine or you lately!! Some of us were worried ..are you doing okay?!? We miss our friends when they aren't speaking,sharing !! Just wanted to ask you if you are doing well?!? Please let us know!! And let us know if Antoine is alright as well! We miss that funny little monkey!! He's such a sweetheart!! Just like yourself!! Uncle Horace Thanks for your concern Julie, I've been very busy but I have lots up my sleeve that I will be sharing within the next couple of days. Hope you like it  91  (Facebook, 2010). Perhaps it is because the protagonists exist as autonomous cyberidentities, that their world seems more real than fiction. It is a story that is both tactile and phenomenological. Facebook story is multi textured. Not only does the story exist on line but it also exists in tactile form--the tactile and phenomenological blend into a new definition of reality and fiction. It is interesting that the tactile element exists. It is as though the cyberstuffies are determined to make their cyberworld real. If they exist in real, tactile form, then they have real friendships, a real social life. They exist beyond the cyber—they are unique and credible—not some child like game or antisocial cyber obsession. They are a community that crosses borders of reality/fantasy—even when proving their existence is embarrassing (see excerpt below). Pooky 7:45 am Nov 11 A Day at the Office.... Pooky Woohoo! Mum took me to the pub with her, and wasn't embarrassed to get me out in front of her colleagues! 6 new photos Pooky 17 hours ago · Like · Comment · Share 10 people like this. Ted I think all this Facebook bear action is making the hums bolder17 hours ago · Like · 3 people Michael Pooky, we are getting the recognition we deserve :)16 hours ago · Like · Gorky Lucky you! Last time my Mom took me to the office, I got sacked!15 hours ago · Like Pooky Gasp! Did you do something a bit naughty Gorky?13 hours ago · Like  92  Gorky Supposedly! But how am I supposed to know about all these workplace harassment rules???? I'm just a monkey.13 hours ago · Like · 1 person (Facebook, 2010). The draw to belong to this unique world of hazy reality is strong. One will take risks to stay inside it: We are artists, pioneers, comrades and we are brave. We exist in spaces we are not allowed to be. The excerpt below demonstrates this unique bond between covert friends. Although Caribou threatened to quit Facebook, he still existed at the time this paper was written. The draw to belong to the stuffy world proved stronger than his wish to close his Facebook account. Ms. Fuzz Buzz You, my handsome Caribou love, are a part of us. You qualify under animal subculture which is a part of the entire stuffy subculture. Blood and bones, cotton and polyester—what does it matter? Like it or not, you are one of us comrade. Caribou That's very kind of you. However, it'll only be for a few more days. I will miss you (Facebook, 2010).  Cybercitizen Pinocchio is a cybercitizen. A stuffy cybercitizen’s identity is independent of its human creator. In fact, a cyberstuffy can exist as a citizen, an active identity, even when the human is off-line. One can go to sleep at night only to awake to find out her/his stuffy is busy within a story line, unbeknownst to the human. Other authors add new text, photos or videos that star another human’s stuffy; they’ve created the existence of the stuffy in new ways. In this case, author’s agency and authority come into play. As a co-author, the stuffy must play along with the story line. To explicitly reject the story line by posting out of character declarations of displeasure with the new plot would dissolve the entire fictitious  93  world. No author would risk such a move. If an author doesn’t like the story line and feels it is out of character for their stuffy, ideally one segues the story in a new direction; one more in character for their stuffy. However, sometimes the author doesn’t play along, and slips out of character to direct the story abruptly in a new direction. Keith (Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s husband) refused to be portrayed as drinking alcohol because it was completely out of character. In this case, the scene was deleted and rewritten to suit Keith. Basically negating what had come before. Cyberidentity and cyberprotagonist are not one and the same. As a protagonist within a story, the stuffy’s character is dependant on its human creator and other fellow writers. However, as an online identity, the cyberstuffy is fluid and often autonomous from its human creator. It is the cyberstuffy who exists in cyberspace—the human’s identity at times existing only as an elusive off-line identity created by the cyberstuffy.  Cybercommunity The most rewarding part of belonging to a Facebook story cybercommunity is the sense of social connection (Thomas 2008). The cyberstuffy friends are indeed friends; supporting one another online with kind messages and offering help when asked. Keithy asked fellow stuffies to send tactile cards in the mail to a friend (an older woman who had recently lost her dog after 17 years together). The response to the request was overwhelming; stuffies from all over the globe offering condolences and sending tactile condolence cards to this real human in the mail (see excerpt below).  94  Keithy Everybeary....Mummy talked to Miss Jean on dee phone tonight. My wife's hooman. She wants to tank yoo all, for dee cards and notes dat yoo have sent. She has received close to 40 so far, and she said dat it has helped her to not feel so alone.....and see dat dare are good people still, who will take time, and reach out to a stranger. 
So Tank Qoo EVERYBEARY for your kindness and for reaching a little ol lady, who was soooooo sad, wit dee loss of her 17 year old doggy, Misty Blue!!! Xoxooxxoxo (Facebook, 2010). When Jean got a new puppy, Keithy posted the pictures on his site. It was heartwarming to see Jean with her new puppy. It is these friendships that keep one connected to the cyberstuffy world. One speculates that these human creators are good, caring people who will help out in both good and bad times. The researcher felt connected to the cyberstuffies and their covert humans—believed in this world where people care for complete strangers out of pure kindness. Stuffies as cybercitizens are liberated to post a true identity rather than an “ideal self” or “possible self” (the identity one hopes to become under ideal circumstances) (Higgens 1987 as cited in Zhao et al., 2008). Rather than becoming a vehicle to express deviant behaviour, the cyberstuffy identities allow the covert humans to express their true selves. The covert human remains safely protected behind the cyberstuffy. The social connectiveness of Facebook story allows this to happen. The stuffy friends on Facebook are kind and compassionate. This is an implicit rule of the stuffy subculture. Bullying is not tolerated (see excerpt below). Jed in case anyone is wondering, I block bullies and anyone who bullies my friends!! no ifs, ands, or buts!! 3 hours ago · Like · Blund, Straw Beary and 4 others like this. Theadore I'm with you Jed!3 hours ago · Like · 1 person  95  Jed we gotta stick together! and say no to bullying!3 hours ago · Like Marie Right on Jed!!! I'm with you buddy!!!3 hours ago · Like · 1 person (Facebook, 2010). When faced with unbearable sadness in her life, a covert human (Mum) is able to express deep suffering through her cyberstuffy (Sky) and then receive compassionate support through kind postings of fellow cyberstuffies (only a few of the comments are shown). Sky Love doesn't live here anymore & I don't think it ever did. How can some1 be so ice cold to hurt my mum like this, he must have hated her in the end because he certainly doesn't give a dam after just 3 days. Well at least he can move. My mum has nothing, I want him to feel her pain! Joe so sorry sky an mumzi xx it's such a miserable feeling an most of us have been there at some time *huggs* take your time and you will come out the other end stronger. One day he'll look back and realise what a fool he's been, but it will be too late. Move on and hold your head up high. You have lots of friends who love you xxx.” Snowy Oh I'm so very sorry Sky :( that is so terrible and I wish I could give you all a great big bear hugz to make you all feel better ~ sending you lots of positive vibes and big love xxxxxxxxxxxx Pauline Giving you and Mumzi big hugs, I'm sorry to hear that, but now you know he's not worth it.....Give mumzi lots of hugs Sky, love you all xxx· Snuffy oh no!! what a mean man he must be. sorry to hear the meeting did not go well. huge hugs from me and little tweaky too. xoxo Barnaby Ayre Aww Sky mate, dats not da bear way an forts like dat will only urt yur luffly Mumzi more inda end. Da fing now is fur Mumzi ta try n moof on n not lettim see er pain. Lettim see dat da loss is is not Mumzis - das da bess  96  fing. We's all sendin lots o ugz ta yoo n speshully Mumzi xxx Francesca We're very sorry for mummy and you, my dear. She's better than him, she needs to remember that. I know it's a very difficult situation but pls be strong and help mum to get it over. BIG KISSES from us Scooby ....answer your phone!!! Mama is getting very worried about you....we love you dearly. We will always be here as will all your friends.... x Winston *sending all our love* xx Scooby Sky, your mumzi has so much that he doesn't.....she has friends who love her and support her and will be there for her through all of this. Please come and stay here again. Ploofer Youz iz betterzz denzz himzzz anywayzz.. sendinzz wuv ♥♥♥ Emillia ♥♥♥♥♥ Snowy Very sorry to here that :-( Hugs to you and Mumzi xx Bruce ♥♥♥ (Facebook, 2010). No one in the covert’s human off-line world may even know she has suffered and has a community of compassionate support. A world of caring friends has been created and exists online. Forget Pinocchio wanting to be a real boy. No,  97  CHAPTER V DISCUSSION Cybercommunity is the key to the answer of the first research question: How is story being practiced within the cybercommunity of Facebook? Story is practiced uniquely within Facebook because Facebook is a social networking site. The study points to social popularity as being key to a successful story. To be a popular Facebook cyberstuffy means one is able to gather a large audience. This unique audience is made up of readers and coauthors. A cyberstuffy highly literate in the multiliteracies (which include social literacy) is a successful storyteller. Facebook story is created in a cyber-subculture within the broader Facebook cyberculture. It is a covert subculture, made up of identities that are actually cyberstuffies. The cyberstuffy world is a fictitious world as much as it is real world. These cyberstuffies exist as autonomous cyberidentities. Facebook story is the cyberartifact created by the cyberidentity. In order to successfully navigate such a bizarre culture and cybercommunity, authors must acknowledge the other community members in the creation of story. This insures a robust audience and encourages tertiary writers to join the creation of story. Tertiary writer’s posts constitute video, audio, photographs, graphics and prose. Authors select what information best suits the advancement of the overall plot and work those posts into the story line. This demonstrates the practice of intertextuality. The final story is a combination of other texts, modes and meanings from both off and online sources (Walsh, 2009; Wyatt-Smith, 2008). Although Facebook story is created online, it is also created beyond the overt Facebook culture. Facebook  98  story is intertextuality at its finest—online hypertexts, off-line tactile objects, online authors and off-line authors all influence the building of Facebook story fibula. Figure 5.1 below is an example of how a tactile letter, accompanied by a small stuffed monkey puppet, found their way into the Facebook cyberworld. The grandmother of the human creator of cyberstuffy Keith, found a small stuffed monkey while shopping one day. Although not a member of Facebook herself, she had witnessed a Stuffington Estate photo shoot and had an idea of what Keith looked like. The grandmother decided that the little stuffed monkey looked a little like Keith and decided to package it up and send it to Keith’s human in the post along with the letter shown below in Figure 5.1.  Figure 5.1 The Letter From Granny  99  The grandmother’s off-line involvement in the story influenced the fibula of the story. The small monkey puppet indeed became Keith’s illegitimate son in the continuing Stuffington Estates saga. In fact, the addition of the son (Sam) caused a rift between the two primary authors of Ms. Fuzz Buzz and Keith as Ms. Fuzz Buzz had written that the baby was hers. However, Keith used his authority (as tactile owner of Keith and Sam) to veto Ms. Fuzz Buzz’s attempt at agency. Keith wanted baby Sam to be the product of his wild days as a male model in Paris and his affair with a homeless stuffy. The Stuffington story was at risk of ending. However, Keith’s authority won out in the end and Ms. Fuzz Buzz attributed her past swollen belly to too many French pastries. The second research question, what are the roles of identity, authority, agency, and audience within Facebook, is answered by illuminating the unique role each has within Facebook story. A Facebook story reader has the opportunity also to be a writer in the story. The reader has the choice to decide who the protagonist might be at that point in the story. The reader (as writer) can add dialogue and advance the plot in the direction she/he chooses. Of course, if they chose to respond to the protagonist as the covert human rather than a cyberstuffy, and the primary or secondary author(s) (as holders of ultimate story authority) have the power to reject the direction this tertiary writer has taken. The primary and secondary writers can achieve this by adding more dialogue that discredits the tertiary author or [using subversion (Hammer, 2007)] by smoothing over the blunder with witty dialogue. Thus, directing the story in a new direction. In addition, authors of Facebook story are also readers and audience. Therefore,  100  audience is also co-author and holds some authority and agency within the Facebook story. The research exposes many tiers within Facebook story that make it intertextual: cyber, textual, off-line, Online. First, the primary author and secondary authors preconceive the basic story and plot and photographs. Next, the story is created as a tactile set, designed, built and photographed by the primary author with help from secondary authors sometimes. Photographs are then sequenced and edited. Next, the story, as narrative, is created by the primary author and secondary authors involved in this creation. The primary author (followed by the secondary authors) then writes the prose (text) to accompany the photographs. In addition, the primary author and secondary authors consult tertiary authors for suggestions. They do this by checking out the Facebook wall posts of these authors and by rereading past Stuffington posts. The tertiary authors (whose posts will be considered) are usually the regular followers and commenters on Stuffington Estate stories. The authors connect all the linguistic (and multimodal) information with the social information provided (within the cybercommunity) and create something new: fiction (Eshet-Ackali & Amichai-Hamburger, 2004; Unsworth, 2000 as cited in Davies and Merchant, 2006; Walsh, 2009). This creation of new fiction from within established Facebook practices supports the theory of hybridity (Larson, 2008; Wyatt-Smith, 2008). Identity is fluid and evolving within Facebook story. It is dependent on whether the story takes place off-line or online and is fantasy or fiction (Hagood, 2008; Thomas, 2007; Zhao et all, 2008). However, the cyberstuffies are most  101  definitely cyberidentities rather than simply cyberartifacts created by cyberidentities. Facebook stuffies exist autonomously. Sometimes their story advances in plot while their covert human identity sleeps—as other secondary or tertiary write new dialogue about the character. Often the cyberstuffy becomes the covert identity and posts stories about their “human.” In this instance, the Facebook stuffy appears to be the one in control of the human’s story. The cyberartifact is the story itself, not the cyberidentity. The cyberidentity is often separate from the story—removing itself from the visible online story and leading a tactile, off-line life when it suits. The intertextuality of Facebook story influences the third research question (pertaining to the role of tactile/cyber reality/fantasy, fiction/nonfiction and offline/online worlds) of Facebook story. Facebook story is a morphing of both narrative/non narrative. The plot is both preconceived and written in advance of publication and also after publication, in real time, by multiple authors. The protagonist is fictional and real, tactile and cyber. Pinocchio is a tactile toy, a real human boy, a cyberboy as well as a fictional protagonist all at once. Facebook story is a morphing of fiction and nonfiction. One is never sure which realm one is reading at any given moment (Davies & Merchant, 2006; DiMicco & Millen, 2007; Hammer, 2007; Murthy, 2008; Thomas, 207; 2008; Zhao et al, 2008). Reality/fantasy, off/online worlds all exist within Facebook story. It is the effortless morphing of these realms that makes Facebook story so appealing. The reader morphs in and out of fiction/nonfiction effortlessly. It makes the reader stop and think: who is the protagonist at this point in the story (human or cyberstuffy)?  102  Yet it is not an annoying question, rather an intriguing one—the reader is part sleuth, part reader and part writer. The final research question asks if Facebook readers are phenomenologically immersed in the Facebook story. The Pinocchio study demonstrates that Facebook story readers are phenomenologically immersed in the story. Facebook readers believe in the story enough to play along whether through Facebook wall posts or private messages—the reader/coauthor always reacts from within the story’s reality, thus, never shattering the cyberstuffy fantasy world. It seems that because there is always an opportunity for a reader to become immersed in the creation of story, as a writer, the reader’s imagination is free to create. This became obvious in the online chats Ms. Fuzz Buzz had with other stuffies. The stuffy’s ‘covert human’ asked Ms. Fuzz Buzz real legal questions as though she really was a lawyer in the off-line world. The reader begins to believe in the character as though they are real. Mangen (2008) points out that a problem with “traditional” digital fiction such as the eBook, is that because the story is not tactile, the reader does not become phenomenologically immersed in the story. The physical turning of pages, touching a volume of tactile paper with unknown words inside, seems to set the stage for a reader’s imagination to take hold. Facebook story is both tactile and digital. The reality factor of the cyberstuffies becomes hazy and confused when one acknowledges that the protagonists are tactile stuffed toys that one could touch and hold if they were ever to “meet” the stuffy in person. When observed in reality, as a tactile stuffy, it is doubtful that the stuffy Ms. Fuzz Buzz would  103  receive any questions pertaining to international law and thus the story seems less real. However, the tactile quality allows one to witness the true celebrity status these online cyberstuffies have in the real world. Other stuffy friends from far away, request a meeting with the stuffy and their covert human if and when they travel to the part of the world where that stuffy lives. The following excerpt is from an online conversation between the researcher and a popular Face book stuffy’s covert human. I've also met a few of the humans behind some of the stuffies. When I lived in Vancouver, a few of them who came through on various vacations had requested to meet Jed. It was sort of funny on a couple of occasions; it felt like I was one of Jed's managers and these people had come to meet a celebrity! at least that's how they reacted when seeing him (Facebook, 2011). In fact, I had spent time away from the tactile stuffed protagonists of the Stuffington story. They were housed at another author’s home over four hundred kilometers away. On meeting the stuffies again, I experienced a surge of excitement at seeing all of the characters sitting on props used in the story, dressed in costumes as they appeared in the story. I marveled at how I felt that I was meeting celebrities in person and how small the stuffed animals seemed compared to how “big” they appear in the story. I felt the need to cuddle each character in greeting, like they were old friends. Furthermore, the fan base on Facebook indicates that the stuffies are indeed celebrities in their own right. They have a large following of fans. Some of the Stuffington stories have gathered approximately four hundred and sixty six views within a few short days of their publication.  104  It seems the primary authors right down to the passive readers believe in the Facebook cyberstuffy story. Stuffington Estate exists in the authors’ and readers’ minds. If one were to travel to Barnstaple England, one would expect to stumble upon the imposing gates of the well-forested Stuffington Estate grounds.  Application The results of this study can be applied to the fields of digital literature, social networking sites, education and academia. Educators of creative writing are informed of the importance of social literacy and the creation of story online. Though Facebook story may not be an option within the public school system, creative educators could create a cybercommunity within their classroom for their students—communities that encourage the practice of all of the multiliteracies and maximize knowledge acquisition. As reading and writing are no longer exclusive activities online (but one and the same) educators will be challenged to implement new ways to teach both reading and creative writing. Creating and maintaining a cyberidentity within a cybercommunity, demands that one reads hypertext and engages in intertextual, multiple authorship. Furthermore, this study supports that popular culture texts and online hypertexts should be given fair consideration in the classroom as they can provide scaffolding for students to build multiliteracy skills. Facebook story is not an individual reading endeavor. It demands more from its reader. It demands keen social skills and that the reader participate in the story as a coauthor. Students practicing online story do not practice a solo endeavor of creative writing and reading. They engage in a social, active and creative activity that involves an entire community of writers and readers. Story is evolving  105  online within cybercommunities. To succeed as a writer in a cybercommunity, one must be multiliterate. Facebook story trains its writers to be multiliterate. One develops keen, social, critical, visual, digital and verbal skills as they practice writing and reading with in the cyberstuffy subculture of Facebook. Social networking sites like Facebook would be wise to study, rather than delete its massive cyberstuffy subculture. Facebook’s “illegal” members are a demographic that should not be ignored. The creative ways in which its members practice hybridity through story telling offers valuable ideas for growth for the digital social media industry. The draw to belong to a cybercommunity of cyberstuffies is strong and Facebook might be wise to create a “legal” site for their cyberstuffy subculture. Facebook story informs the world of digital literature about a story that exists somewhere between the eBook and online gaming. Narrative is created both pre-publishing and in real time. In addition, covert identity morphing with an actual identity is an appealing way to read and write story--the morphing of fiction and nonfiction. Furthermore, the study elucidates, to the digital literature industry, how appealing it is to be both reader and writer. Perhaps the digital age will eventually train all readers to long for more—to be an actual part of story creation. In time, the role of reader as a passive consumer will be replaced by a new active role as reader and author. Academics and the digital industry will benefit from the information about Facebook story audience. The audience is made up of cybercommunity members and this community is part of a social networking culture. Thus, as members of a  106  social networking site, audience requires constant upkeep. Social schmoozing with the audience is not only the norm, it is a requirement of story creation. Without a large audience of socially literate co-authors, the Facebook story will not be read, coauthored or shared amongst the cybercommunity. Furthermore, it is of interest to the digital literature industry that Facebook authors are their own agents and must court and gather their audience pre-publishing.  Further Research The Facebook stuffy subculture is a culture rich with sociological and creative information. As researcher, I often felt overwhelmed at the wealth of interesting research topics to delve into further. It is an area in dire need of further research. Studies examining the social, psychological and cultural aspects of the stuffy subculture will benefit humanities research. Also, future studies are needed that will benefit the area of language development. Many of the Facebook stuffies “speak” in a slang that mimics “baby-talk.” A study of the creation of this language (as well as the broader metalanguage used within Facebook) will be interesting to linguists and academics in the areas of digital media, digital literacy and digital story. In addition, more studies are needed in the area of phenomenological immersion and story. This research demonstrates only a few reasons why perhaps Facebook story creates phenomenological immersion in its readers and writers. The educators and the digital industry will benefit from more phenomenological immersion research by learning new ways to improve the eBook reading experience. Also, how a digital text becomes a physical authority is an interesting  107  question for further research when addressing less tactile forms of texts such as digital texts that are fluid and evolving. Furthermore, more studies are needed for educators, academics and creators of digital story, to understand why fluid and unpredictable style of fiction that morphs into nonfiction is so appealing to readers. Pinocchio has come to life. We need to follow him on his journey and learn all we can from this cyberboy/ tactile-boy/ covert human-creator/ fictional boy.  Conclusion This research has exposed a cyberartifact created by cyberidentities: Facebook story. Indeed, Facebook story is unrecognizable in the tradition sense of the static book. It is a social story based on popularity. It is also a story that engages its readers in co-creation. A reader is no longer passive but an active coauthor/social networker. The most fascinating themes that are revealed throughout the study are the role of cybercommunity and story, the morphing of fiction/ nonfiction, reality/fantasy, on/off-line worlds and the morphing of identity between the cyberidentity and its human creator. Facebook story is not fiction but a morphing of fiction and non-fiction. Furthermore, the story cannot be classified as either a narrative or a non-narrative. It is a morphing of both. It is both a story preconceived and created in real time. Even the authors and audience are not clearcut but again a morphing. It seems that members of the cyberstuffy sub-culture are both author and audience of each story. Readers are writers and agents all at once. The authors must be agents of their own story, gathering their own audience before the story is even published online. And the audience is unlike any other. It is a  108  cybercommunity of cybercitizens and one cannot belong to this community and write within this community without advanced social literacy skills--an unpopular cyberstuffy’s story remains unread. Behind the story there lurks an unsettling threat: complete deletion of story and cyberidentity by the Facebook “police.” This threat creates the element of covert existence. In turn, a covert existence creates a dilemma for the story as a physical authority. Its writers desperately attempt to somehow give it physical authority through tactile interactions with the real world: the stuffies and their humans meeting off-line and then photographing the event and posting the photos online. However, despite its lack of physical authority, Facebook story is a cultural authority. The readers are phenomenologically immersed in the story. They buy into its reality—conversing on and off-line about the autonomous protagonists as though they and their stories exist. Pinocchio exists in the tactile realm, the cyber realm and in the phenomenological realm of the authors’ and readers’ minds. It seems that there is no reality/fantasy untouched by a cyberstuffy. One believes in the Facebook story. It is a good story, like a fairy tale. I, as cyberauthor, for one, am happy to leave this world as it exists and not test these friendships exclusively in the real, off-line world. Let Pinocchio exist online, in the realm of story. He may exist in a world of morphed fantasy/reality but he is safe there in his world of friends. The real, off-line world may not be so kind to him.  109  REFERENCES Black, R. (2008). Just don’t call them cartoons: the new literacy spaces of anime, magna, and fanfiction. In Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (Eds.), Handbook of Research on New Literacies, (pp.583-610). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: New York. Creswell, J., (2008). Educational research: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research, (pp. 212-334). Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Davies J., & Merchant, G. (2007). Looking from the inside out: Academic blogging as new literacy. In M. Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds.) A New Literacies Sampler, (pp.167-198). New York: Peter Lang. DiMicco, J., Millen, R., (2007). Identity management: multiple presentations of self in Facebook, (pp.383-387). IBM T.J. Watson Research: Cambridge, MA. Elkins, J. & Wyatt-Smith, C. (2008). Multimodal reading and comprehension in online environments. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear & Donald Leu (Eds.) Handbook of Research on New Literacies, (pp. 899-940) Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: New York. Eshet-Alkali, Y & Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (2004) Experiments in digital literacy. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7 (4), (pp. 421-429) Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Freeze, Colin. (2009) Girl finds dead mother hawking cure-all on Facebook. 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(2008) Electronic reading workshop: Beyond books with new literacies and instructional technologies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52 (2) (pp.212131) doi:10. 1598/JAAlL.52.2.3 Lewis, C. (2007). New literacies. In M. Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds.), A New Literacies Sampler, (pp. 229-237). New York: Peter Lang. Mangen, A. (2008). Hypertext fiction reading: Haptics and immersion. Journal of Research in Reading, 31(4), 404-419. Mackey, M., & McClay, J. (2008). Pirates and poachers: fanfiction and the conventions of reading and writing. English in education, 42(2), 131-146. doi: 10.1111/j.17548845.2008.00011.x Mayer, R. (2008). Multimedia literacy. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear & Donald Leu (Eds.) Handbook of Research on New Literacies, (pp. 359-376) Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: New York. Moore, R. (2005, April). All shapes of hunger: teenagers and fanfiction. Retrieved from Voice of Youth Advocates: Murthy, D. (2008). Digital ethnography: An examination of the use of new technologies for social research. Sociology 42(5), 837-855. doi:10.1177/0038508094565. Parrish, J. (2007). Inventing a universe: reading and writing internet fanfiction. Retrieved from University of Pittsburgh Electronic Theses and Dissertations. (etd-08072007170133/) . Thomas, A. (2007). Blurring and breaking through the boundaries of narrative, literacy, and identity in adolescent fanfiction. In M. Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds.), A New Literacies Sampler (pp.137-166). New York: Peter Lang. Thomas, A. (2008). Community, culture, and citizenship in cyberspace. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear & Donald Leu (Eds.) Handbook of Research on New Literacies, (pp.617-697) Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: New York. Unsworth, L. (2008). Multiliteracies and metalanguages: Describing image/text relations as a resource for negotiating multimodal texts. In Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (Eds.) Handbook of Research on New Literacies, (pp.922). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: New York.  111  Walsh, C. (2009). The multi-modal redesign of school texts, Journal of Research in Reading, 32 (1), (pp. 126-136). Zhao, S., Grasmuck, S., Martin, J. (2008). Identity Construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships, Computers in Human Behavior, 24 (pp.1816-1836), doi:10.1016/j.chb.2008.02.012 Retrieved from e-learning @ UBC Web site:  112  APPENDICES Appendix A Link to Online Facebook Stories by Researcher (One Must be a Member of Facebook to Access this Link)  Figure A.1 The Rescue  113  Appendix B Definition of Terms Pertaining to Online Story Agency Author has power to suggest story ideas. Authority Author has the power to veto any story ideas. Cultural Authority How much value a culture places in a text. Cyberartifact An online creation that reflects contemporary society. Cybercommunity An online community consisting of members who share a similar interest or demographic. Cyberculture Online culture. Cyberidentity An online identity. Cyberstuffy An online identity belonging to a stuffed toy. Cyberanimal An online identity belonging to an animal. Disembodiment Full immersion in a virtual world--one must be technologically and phenomenologically immersed. Embodiment When technology is experienced as an extension of the body; it is a tool to experience something else other than technology itself. Emoticon A graphic symbol used online to convey emotion, such as a smiley face. Fanfic An abbreviated form of the term fanfiction. Fanfiction  114  Online fiction practiced by multiple authors within a community made up of fans of a particular genre of fiction or popular culture artifact. Fibula Fictional events in a story that help advance the plot. Hybridity The practice of using existing artifacts as scaffolding to create something new. Hybrid Textualities The blending of a variety of texts. Hypertextual Online text that is fluid—continually changing due ongoing editing, writing, links to other online sites etc. Intertextual Composed of a variety of modes. Intertextuality Meaning is constructed through relationships to other texts and modes of meaning. Medium The means by which information is disseminated (the internet is a medium). Metalanguage Language that makes meaning out of multiple visual images—reading images through the grammar of visual design. Mode A method for conveying meaning (a graphic symbol is a mode). Morphing The transformation from one form into another. Multiliteracies Literacy composed of visual, verbal, digital, social and critical literacy skills. Multimodal Using multiple representations (modes) to convey meaning. Multimodes include text, visual, audio, spatial and gestural modes of meaning making. Phenomenological Immersion Being lost in a fantasy world created by one’s own imagination. Physical Authority  115  How much staying power a text has. The longer a text exists (physically) in our culture, the more physical authority it has. Technological Immersion Being lost in a virtual world created by technology.  116  


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