3: Wikipedia as a Modern Genre

Wikipedia Logo

I very much enjoy the idea of referring to or categorizing a text into a genre using its intended and received purpose, rather than it’s form or style, as mentioned in Myers’ article. This is, in part, an aspect of the definition of genre anyway, but I enjoy the emphasis on intent and reception, which I intend to focus on here. This is partially shaped by societal development, technology trends, and the basic principle of supply and demand. As a certain type of text is trending, people want more of it, so more exist, until it begins to go out of style and fade from memory, newer things replacing the old, as time does to all organic and inorganic things. The way this is decided is through public interaction with the text, and I would like to argue that the quality and quantity of interactivity are important in defining the ongoing popularity and redefinition of genres.

A site like Wikipedia, while reliable in content and fairly easy to use, can be visually boring to the reader, without interactivity beyond reading and editing, or clicking links to other Wikipedia pages, when there could be links to pictures, videos, or other more interactive resources incorporated into the main framework, bringing a well-used but outdated resource up to speed. Therefore, I propose that possibly Wikipedia isn’t as popular or beloved of a resource as other similar resources because of the arguably low quality of interactivity.

An increase in the amount and quality of interactivity for Wikipedia would promote it to a newer and more tech-savvy audience while keeping the basic essence of wikis as a medium and as a collaborative space to collect information. Part of the hallmark of wikis is “reverting to earlier versions” if you do not like the format, content, or another feature (Myers). These new features would appeal to the innovations of the future while allowing the basic structure of Wikipedia to still be accessible to those who desire it.




Word Count: 331


Works Cited


Myers, Greg. 2-Genre: What is a blog? What is a wiki?


Leuf, Bo and Cunningham, Ward. Chapter 2: What’s a “wiki”?