notes on a new writing process:
multimediation as change agent
Some years ago, Chrysler Corporation ran television ads for Dodge automobiles with the following slogan provided by actor Edward Herrmann’s baritone voice, commenting on whatever bit of automotive wizardry the commercial was then touting:
        “This changes everything.”
Now, I’ve never owned one of their cars, so I can’t vouch for the particular veracity of Mr. Herrmann’s assertion. However, I think of this slogan from time to time, especially as I consider how my writing life is now spent in engaging technologies that are, to me, revolutionary and transformative—technologies that allow me  (and compel me) to meld what and how I used to compose in new (to me) ways—integrating multi- or new media*--sound, graphics, a heightened sense of design, video, and animation, along with the various effects that can be wrought on any of these, either alone or in combination, with traditional, alphabetic text.
I am what Marc Prensky calls a “digital immigrant” (2), and my Ellis Island is a MacBook Pro.  But I feel that my cognitive ship--the vessel in which I create texts--is still at sea.  My writing process is changing, as I think it is changing for many persons who are conversant with technology yet whose rhetorical education is, and has been, largely alphabetic and paper-based.  For, as we know, the the concept of ‘text” is changing.  Text is now, to borrow the perspective of Russell Wiebe and Robert Dornsife, “…broadened to include to include everything from conventional essays, to paintings, to photographs, videos, and hybrids that we have yet to imagine”.
*I tend to use these terms interchangeably, considering “multimedia’ in one common usage—non-textual media integrated with textual media—to be essentially same thing as “new media,” at least in terms of composition studies, where, arguably, most digital multimedia, at least, are still considered “new.”