Never before has the need to match your genre to your medium been one deserving so much attention. In the days of heritage media, it was usually pretty easy to determine how to match the type of story with a medium – standalone ninety-minute narrative to cinematic film; poem to magazine; essay to journal article; long-form textual narrative to printed book. And if you couldn’t match it, you changed your concept or got nowhere.

Creating a medium for your genre

Nowadays it’s verging on possible to create your medium if it doesn’t already exist – but most likely it does. You’ve just got to think laterally. A good example of the lateral matching of genre with technology is diaristic writing to twitter and blog is Samuel Pepys’ diary in blog and twitter form, ‘translated’ by Phil Gyford.

Which comes first, medium or text? I think we have to co-evolve media and mediums. If we’re lucky, (ie, programmers / have programming friends / are well-heeled) we can write both. But even if not, it’s just a matter of researching the options, with more appearing each day. More and more, creatives involved with digital artefacts have to spend a lot of time on this research.

Jenny Weight
English consultant and graphic novelist
Since leaving the higher education sector I’ve been focussed on thinking about education more holistically – I’m particularly interested in the interface between education and media, but I want to understand better how we can bring our traditional educational institutions to embrace the possibilities that the network and media are opening up. We need to reinvent education to suit the nature of our working lives, and our need to engage in routine lifelong learning. I use my research and writing skills to explore these issues. I consult on education issues and assist postgraduate students with their theses.

As an artist, my new project is Mayor, a graphic novel set in thirteenth century Spain. You can find out more about these activities in my blog: geniwate.com.