The designers and programmers of internet settings may indicate that images and events are distributed in real time and as they happen, the technologies are alive, and that the form is unique, but television and internet sites employ similar narratives about liveness, intimacy, and spatial entrances. Internet renderings of liveness suggest that representations are unmediated because images and texts are presented at the same time as the viewer is watching. This makes the various mediated and constructed aspects of the technologies, including the continuation of normative beliefs about gender, race, and sexuality, easier to ignore. Considering how television structures the viewer, historical and critical writings about television liveness, and narratives about internet liveness, and applying this literature to webcams and other internet settings, indicates that these internet renderings are a part of ongoing cultural conventions and provides methods to resist the more stereotyped aspects of these representations.
Description for Michele White’s Television and Internet Differences by Design from Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (2006)