Typically, reading a story alone is just that. It’s your own personal experience and the only way to share it is if your right next to another person or go online to talk about it after a reading session. In Degenerative, the original page can be read just as a normal web page, but it is a work that exists to remind you that many people may look at it considering it’s the internet. Like a normal web page, it at first glance makes you forget that it is connected to a network as the site doesn’t appear to change. The catch with this work was that the more people that read it, the more broken the text would become eventually resulting in a near blank page. This work made me think about how in some cases, the user has more influence than the creator. When everyone is given the ability to affect something on the internet, they run wild with it. This is why moderation exists on so many websites that contain user generated content. The sites that aren’t moderated go down in infamy because they have become places under near complete control of users. I Love Alaska freaked me out a little because it reminded me that search engines remember everything you type in. The story consisted entirely of one person’s search phrases, but that was enough to reveal her personality and drop major hints about what was going on in her life. The literary value of these works is the network itself. They involve many people.
“Networks are both technological and social structures. For electronic literature, networks are both platform and material.”-Rettberg, pg 152