The WebGenre Blog: The power of genre applied to digital information. By Marina Santini » SafeWEB





SafeWEB is an information system that helps make the web a safer and more inviting place by providing web users with cues to help them understand how information is structured and why it is shared. SafeWEB enhances public genre-awareness, which is a form of literacy needed for community building. Genre competence is a sign of social intelligence and emotional intelligence which increases web users’ understanding of information, and, if necessary, self- and mutual protection. Genre competence makes web users socially- and emotionally-intelligent because, through a deeper understanding of genre conventions and expectations, they will be able to evaluate the genuineness, reliability, authenticity and the actual purpose of information they find on the web, where the risk of being misled or misinformed is high. The concept of genre is already being used by security organizations to spot terrorist behavior. Similarly, genre competence is useful to fight against web crimes, such as cyber-stalking or cyber-bullying, or self-destructive behaviour in suicidal or depressed users. We suggest that genre competence help increase social and mutual respect, reduce the malicious manipulation of web users’ attitudes and emotions, and turn negativity into more positive thinking.

Genre, like other fundamentals of human communication, is a complex concept that needs to be addressed to fully incorporate communication context in information systems. Moreover, by making the underlying social, emotional and communicative structure of the web explicit in the form of genre competence, SafeWEB will make web users more aware of genres to empower their participation in the new communicative situations they encounter.

Discussion Group and Specific Interests

  • Marina Santini (Sweden)–> Text Analytics
  • Jussi Karlgren (Sweden)–> Stylistic analysis of text for author profiling and sentiment analysis of text
  • Knut Sturidsson (Sweden)–> Psychology
  • Björn Gambäck ??? (Sweden)
  • Michael Oakes (UK)–> Information Retrieval
  • Tony Russell-Rose (UK)–> User Experience
  • Maya Dimitrova (Bulgaria)–> Gestalt and Interfaces
  • Alessandro Zanasi (Italy)–> Security

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