Digital Writing in the Workplace: The Present and the Future


As in most other fields of the humanities, writing has been greatly transformed by digital technologies, and this transformation is still undergoing. Writing is an omnipresent activity, both in our personal and professional lives. In professional settings in particular, writing receives growing attention from scholars because of its key role in the knowledge economy. Indeed, it is by writing that we transform knowledge into consumer products (the texts). In this presentation, I will focus on digital writing in the workplace. The first part will be devoted to the description of digital writing as I will explain what we mean by this expression. Next, I will present some results from a survey on computer tools used by Canadian professional writers. As we will see, these results confirm the irrevocable digital transformation of writing. But, maybe more importantly, my research highlights two paradoxical situations. First, there seems to be a contradiction in professional writers' desire to use more computer tools and the feeling that they are already using too many of them. A second inconsistency is observed in the professional writers' perceptions with respect to the quality of computer tools. This double paradox clearly underlies the need to innovate in digital writing and to explore beyond what the computer industry has to offer. In the last part of the presentation, I will try to envision what digital writing will look like 50 years from now, based on survey results about what professional writers had to say about the future.

Author Information
Marie-Josee Goulet, Universite du Quebec en Outaouais, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2016
Stream: Humanities - Cyberspace, Technology

This paper is part of the ACAH2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon