The article discusses the spread, reception and manifestations of folklore in online environment. The material under discussion has been drawn from the forum of the online Estonian family portal . The first part of the article explores the spread and development of lore material and related behavioural patterns in the forum. The author also points out the ways in which the attitudes towards a homogeneous corpus of material differ in terms of the mode of presentation. Since today virtual communities have become the primary form of social interaction for many people, the place where they spend most of their day, these environments naturally involve the creation and transmitting of folkloric information. The attitude towards folkloric material in this particular forum may depend on the context and the background knowledge of receivers: folklore is both ridiculed and valued. Often the attitudes depend on how, by whom and in relation of what it is presented. It is noteworthy that beliefs are spread in the forum within one generation. While formerly beliefs were transmitted from older generation to the younger, the older generation and their worldview, which is perceived as irrational from the viewpoint of modern science, is no longer considered trustworthy. However, if it is presented as someone's personal experience story, the belief is accepted as an alternative way. The second part of the article observes the forms and functions of material that could be categorised as folkloric. The forums feature a variety of folklore genres: folklore related to the religious world (belief accounts, memorates, and legends) and entertaining material. The entertaining function of the forum becomes evident even in the inclusion of religious themes for entertaining purposes. Forums of active use, such as help to spread folklore by actualising the latent material in people's knowledge. This is why some archaic beliefs may generate questions and doubts even in modern times. The family forum Perekool thus becomes the reconstructer of omens and beliefs as well as the distributor of new phenomena.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.