McCloud made me think about how we can take a closer look at the new media platforms that we have. In the same way that he digs into the mechanics of comics and deepens their meaning, we can do the same with new media. When the Library of Congress started archiving Twitter there were comments about the uselessness of it, but when you look closely at Twitter and start poking around, looking for trends, all kinds of interesting things can emerge.
Another example is what Dr Nelson has done with her Soviet history class. Instead of just having the students blog, they have to blog and interact with their classmates’ blogs. With the added layer of examining their peers, and being examined by their peers, the quality of the student work has increased dramatically.
I think the trick is to keep digging and keep iterating with these platforms. The more we iterate the deeper we’ll be able to get and the more engaging we’ll be able to make content. Another trick (I think) is to switch our minds from the old formats the web is emulating. Get rid of the cassette tape icon for voicemail, lose the floppy disk for save, etc. Files? Folders? Why? Why should the web emulate these forms?
The connection with the Berners-Lee et al. paper that I saw was simply that the web affords us the power to explore ways of expressing information that weren’t possible before. McCloud gave a TED talk a few years ago that shows how comics can take advantage of the web which I highly recommend: