Davies, Julia. “Affinities and Beyond! Developing Ways of Seeing in Online Spaces.” E-Learning and Digital Media 3.2 (2006): 217–234. ldm.sagepub.com. Web.
This article examines the environment of Flickr, a free online image hosting website that supports a community wherein members can share their own photos and explore those of others. Davies asserts that through flickr, new multimodal teaching and learning relationships are formed through the “Affinity Space”, first coined by James Paul Gee. An Affinity Space is anywhere that informal learning takes place, and here it is argued that the Affinity Space of flickr uses in images exclusively to create new meanings and discourse. One piece of information that has given me a new perspective on the online built environment is this column’s offering up of evidence for the broadening of the term “literacy” to include more modes than just text, like images, at a time when the visual mode is becoming increasingly intertwined with the textual mode, especially in online spaces. The only flaw I could find with this article is that is was published ten years ago, so the Affinity Space and new definition of literacy discussed inside have probably expanded a bit beyond the framework outlined inside. I chose this article because it is valuable to anyone trying to analyze the multimodal rhetoric of online spaces since they are, almost by definition, places where informal learning takes place through the users’ voluntary exploration of them. although I was unable to export them to this blog post, it is worth noting that this article also included several images from flickr, including a picture of the welcome page, and several example of posts by users.