A networked narrative is a conversation over time and space, which holds a specific set of rules or values. It is driven by details that emerge through a co-construction of the ‘story’ by various participants.
This essay is called ‘No End In Sight’ and I must admit this is exactly how I felt when I started reading this. Marco Deseriis tries to explain how internet communities can create and tell a story from just interacting and sharing information. For instance if a network has no leader, it is an appealing subject and an active on-line community which holds it together. The internet gives people an opportunity to interact and enter a dynamic relationship which leads to developing a storyline however it must also rely on the stories to be heard, read and understood. He then continues on to explain how chain mail, spam and virus alerts can also be seen as storytelling. They can take the form of a narrative as they often set out instructions. For instance, one could be asked to forward a chain message, connecting to a website or signing a petition. This network instructs that everyone take part which means that everyone then has a role in the narrative.
He later brings different narrative examples into the essay, such as spoof websites such as The Yes Man and TMark. This was an interesting section to research as I had never heard of them before however I didn’t feel the examples helped me understand the essay. If anything I became more confused when reading this section.
I found the Toy War section very interesting and thought it was amazing how the whole of net.art network supported etoy in their battle of saving their domain name etoy.com from the toy retailer’s eToys. The battle consisted of a campaign for artistic freedom against the commodity of the Internet and it successfully promoted etoy and the net.art community. Best of all it saw eToys filing for bankruptcy and finally renouncing their domain name. I really liked how internet communities such as activists and the media came together to create their own narrative.
In conclusion, I found this essay really interesting but very confusing at points. I think this was because the examples he used to portray his point were very different but also my lack of understanding internet jargon did not help the matter. I tried to research as much of the terminology and examples as I possibly could but this sometimes seemed to confuse me more. However, I think the general idea behind the chapter is interesting as I really like the idea of a community and narrative being created by a large amount of different people.