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Paratextual Prometheus. Digital Paratexts on YouTube, Vimeo and Prometheus Transmedia Campaign

Sérgio Tavares


The object of this article is to map correspondences between the literacy of books and the literacy of online video platforms, in order to create common ground between both media and assist transmedia storytellers in the task of exploring video platforms with in-depth knowledge of each textual element surrounding video content. The article proposes a comprehensive categorization and typification of surrounding information in the standard video pages of YouTube and Vimeo, using Gerard Genette’s theory of paratexts as a basic framework. The analysis found that the interplay between paratextual elements, the audience feedback and the absence of endorsement from authors to paratexts created by third parties constitutes a scenario of intense paratextual relevance in a culture radically different from print media. Furthermore, in the given scenario, the reader has an interesting new role: his/her activity log produces a new intertextuality, making the social media user himself/herself a new text that binds other texts together.


transmedia literacy; transmedia storytelling; YouTube; Vimeo; paratexts; peritexts; Prometheus

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2015-001-tava

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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