A recent App called, Wattpad has taken the world of writing and reading by storm. In order to fully understand what this app is capable of, I will review the app in the perspective of new user.
The homepage of Wattpad looks a little something like this:
It is both clean and simple. A user can either log in using Facebook, or use an e-mail address to sign up; all in all, it takes about 30 seconds to create and account with WattPad.
Next, the app will ask you pick a variety of your favorite reading genres, which will look like this:
The format, once again, is extremely quick and clean. Users have the ability to pick as many or as few genres as they wish. This is a quality feature when the user wants either variety or focus.
Based off the genre users picked, the app will generate multiple stories for the user to enjoy.
The instructions are straightforward and allows users to enjoy a variety of different works of any type of genre. On the app, users can scroll through their “library” and pick a title to read. It’s kind of ironic how a library, once associated with the imagery of an abundance of books, has become a collection of virtual goods.
Once a user settles on a book title, a couple of screens will pop up:
These two screens demonstrate the main point of the app. On the left, is a piece of work found in a collection of poetry. On the right, the app offers the author, comments, suggestions, and sharing. Adding the comment/liking feature allows users to offer their perspective on the work, which is a nice spin for a literary app. Instead of just reading a poem, users can share opinions and ask/offer help. Another progressive feature of this app is the suggestion category. In order to broaden horizons, suggestions to other writers is extremely helpful. Lastly, the social media aspect of this app is helpful to both writers and readers. If a user posts a poem to Facebook, the user’s friends will have the ability to discover new works.
The social media of this aspect has two sides. While the influence of social media is positive in some respects, ethics should definitely be considered while reviewing this app. While Apps usually don’t resonate with words like “ethics”, an article called “Why Napster matters to writing: Filesharing as a new ethic of digital delivery” by Danielle DeVoss and James Porter, explains why public sharing is an ethical issue. It is mentioned in the article that “digital ﬁlesharing forms the basis for a new ethic of digital delivery, an ethic that should lead us to reconsider our policies regarding plagiarism and that, in general, we should consider when developing digital composition pedagogies.” Copyright becomes an extremely prominent issue in the world of apps; it is becoming easier and easier to steal ideas from authors due to the open forum of apps. With the Wattpad, there are a couple of issues when it comes to the delivery of ethics. While the app itself gives credit where credit is due, the sharing features make it extremely easy for users to steal work. The blame in this situation is a bit ambiguous since Wattpad does an excellent job of giving credit to authors. The problem is that users are sharing works via social media; while the authors are getting credit for their works, it is freely passed along for anyone to see.
This App combines Facebook, Twitter, Kindle, Messanger, and E-mail all into one. Not only does it provide stories based off the users’ interests, but it also provides a social media service. Combining multiple different mediums into one is an example of remediation, which is an idea mentioned in an article called “Writing as Technology” by Jay Bolter. The creators of this app made it possible to blend social media with literature and writing, which is a significant advancement in the worlds of technology and literacy.
All in all, for a free app, I think that this app is definitely worth a download. It allows users to discover, share, and explore the world of literacy in a fun and easy way.