The ongoing advancement of the technical possibilities makes electronic media increasingly multifunctional. Online communication is therefore no longer a simple transmission of a message from the sender to the receiver, but a new form of interaction with many participants who create and discuss meaning. This leads to new perspectives in different fields of scientific research and requires an interdisciplinary access. Also the distinction and functionalization of orality and literacy has to be revisited, because a major part of online communication is written, although the features of orality cannot be ignored. What is more, the advancing appearance of hybrid communication forms integrating sound and pictures in traditionally written contexts complicates clear allocations. Research will have to rethink the existing models and create a new access that overcomes the old dichotomious structures. The article analytically reviews the leading theories and models on this subject and reflects the current debate, taking into consideration as well terminological as methodological questions.