As a digital literacy project, I have decided that TVTropes.org is the worthiest site to get me involved in an online community of learners. As a rule I have never gotten involved in these types of online communities, making me an “outsider” in this setting, so this experience will hopefully be very educational. TVTropes.org is my site of choice because I have an interest in the interaction a writer may have with other writers on the site; the main purpose is to offer helpful hints and techniques for writing fiction. That and it is quite snarky and fun while still being a compendium of knowledge on all things literary—whether they are movies, radio, text, games, and anything else that is fiction. At this point, I am still dipping my toes in the water as far as what to “get involved” with on the site, but I will try my darnedest to center on the work of Jonathan Swift. I plan to make edits to older posts, comment on people’s additions in scholarly ways, and possibly revive the thread in nefarious ways . . . :D
If that is too slow an interaction, I will shift gears to something else, like a forum on Game of Thrones, which is quite lively.
“What is this about?” is a question that TVTropes.org asks right off the bat in reference to their purpose for existence. They claim to be a site for interaction amongst peers and a learning module for the writing community: “the tricks of the trade” to use their wording. However, I liked the question as well to begin a discussion of this blog because I am new to online participation, and it seems important to know the purpose of something before you study it!
So . . . that is something I am still thinking about, but I believe my purpose is to discover the value of peer-driven content within a space for learning. TVTropes.org does not require anything besides interest and motivation to post edits, new material, or rants to their site. What they do require, however, is that the editors and contributors keep a professional tone, show respect to the readers and original authors of the works discussed, and post properly formatted text (this one is tricky because of the vast array of tropes and whatnot that link to new places in the database). The most interesting thing to me is the self-policing nature of the site. I commonly hear about the tendency for people to abuse the privilege of the internet and become bullies, conflagrant, or just ridiculous in their behavior. But this site seems to dispel that notion somewhat, which interests me.