- 2015 National Communication Association. In this essay, we look at how three traditional forms of performance identified by Walter Benjamin function in the digital age. With greater accessibility to the means of production, digital performances can be created by just about anyone. The performances we analyze show how Benjamin's conception of the storyteller, the novelist, and the charlatan can thrive in online environments. While the performances of the storyteller and the novelist suggest new possibilities for online performance, the performance of the charlatan demonstrates the danger of not engaging with/in online performance.