Panel Statement


Session Title:

  • Literature, Journalism, and the Telematic Society 1: Coming to Terms with Interactivity

Presentation Title:

  • Panel Statement



  • For little more than a year now, ZDF-one of two nationwide public TV-networks-has offered an online program, supported by Microsoft.This online program is mainly oriented on ‘brand’ names, ZDF’s traditional shows and magazines. Among those is aspekte-the oldest and possibly most renowned weekly cultural magazine in German TV. aspekte aired for the first time more than 30 years ago! However, together with the magazine, its audience also grew older. Now, one of the reasons to ambitiously foster aspekte-online is to attract younger audiences. aspekte-online ( consists of-roughly said-two major streams of content:

    1. Contents accompanying our weekly TV magazine (preview, discussion, clips,”news from the editing room”, etc….
      2. independent”net-appropriate contents”
      Among other features (interactive galleries, contests, etc.), we there offer our… NOVEL IN PROGRESS. The idea of Nove In Progress, in short, is the following: We want to provide our online audience with the rare opportunity, to “watch over a well-known author’s shoulder”— while he is working and in an interactive way. Currently, we are working on the second edition of Novel In Progress, autopol by 110 Trojanow. When it is finished, autopol will have”lived” approximately 6-7 months, which is similar to Lametta Lasziv by Joseph von Westphalen, our first Novel In Progress. However Lametta Lasziv turned out to be quiet linear: the author sent us those scripts, key words, ideas, remarks, which he normally produces while preparing and outlining a novel. All those, step by step, evolved into a final version.This final version was printed by a Swiss publisher afterwards and sold out quickly. Nevertheless, our users seemed to appreciate this rather linear”evolution” of a book quiet a bit.They filled up the “guestbook,” and sent numerous e-mails to the author. In return, he answered a considerable part of the mail. As a result of these contacts, he changed the story and characters in Lametta Lasziv to a significant extent.The current Novel In Progress II has much less of a linear character. By using film clips, stills, audiofiles and, last but not least, written text, we turned autopol into an interactive online experience. Different streams of links allow one to follow just one character, or a specific stream of action in this”science fiction online road movie:These days (mid-July), it seems like we are approaching the end of autopol. After the author is finished, we are planning to develop additional interactive incentives, to encourage our users take part in a reflective discussion about—or contribute themselves to the soon existing complete story.At the Frankfurt Book Fair, mid-October 1997, autopol will be part of ZDF’s official Bookfair presentation. It will be presented, in cooperation with the “International Centre” of the Bookfair as part of a planned 5-day forum about Literature & New Media. In addition, autopol will be published as a linear version by a German publisher, sometime in September. At ISEA97, I would like to concentrate on Novel In Progress II (autopol), report about”cross promotion” between TV and internet, and discuss, among others, the following question: Is the term”net literature” appropriate for something like Novel In Progress?