Rachael's Kick Ass Blog!

The irony is....DUN DUN DUNNNNN, my research is actually ABOUT blogging. Crazy. So this blogging may prove to be most useful to my research. Let's all wait with bated breath...

Friday, April 14, 2006

More questions by which to crush your brain...

It's late in the day on friday, and I have yet to post to my blog.
I think b/c everytime I think about writing something, this time around, I am worried about falling short of this particular goal I had in mind. See this week, I've been kicking around this question of audience in regards to blogs. Mind you, it's not a fully articulated question, and so there's no real answer or answerS that I could offer, but for some reason, I felt like I should have more to "report" than just some vague questioning about that connection.
But I don't.
All I got are these meandering thoughts:
So here it goes--
In the discussion we had during my oral rough draft, way back when, we tabled the idea about whether or not blogging could be considered its own writing genre. Not everyone seemed completely comfortable with that. But in the article by Miller (who I am beginning to think is becoming most influential in my research), she didn't seem to hesistate with assigning blogging that kind of status.
I wonder about this range of opinion, and I wonder about the various routes of logic people took to gain those opinions. Someone mentioned blogging as a merely a tool for composition; indeed, technology itself could be seen that way in the composition classroom. However, in many readings in our class, there is this collective and urgent message that technology means so much more to composition. My question is: why shouldn't blogging?
I think this boiled down to various definitions of the term "genre."
I can see that as being a kind of prism that splits the issue/question into a continuum of responses.
But I also wonder if the reason why we would hesitate to assign this genre status to blogging has anything to do with the same kind of hesitation that some compositionists feel in regards to personal narrative. I mean, it's no secret that in regards to that subject there is also quite the polarization of opinion. And the fact that blogging and personal writing are connected in everyone's mind is undeniable.
Could it be possiblel that we hesitate to give blogging that kind of space and import b/c we see blogging as mostly "personal" writing rather than actual academic writing? How does this binary of "personal" and "academic" writing infiltrate the blogosphere?

And how does this relate to the issue of audience?

I think that one of my major emerging contentions about this entire matter is that what shoots blogging straight to the center of our attention as compositionists and student-community members of the composition and computers field centers on the issue of audience. I think that the element of audience in blogging is particularly revolutionary and unprecedented in the academy...the internet/cyber world made that possible, and in turn, blogging made it a material reality. But it is difficult to reach that point in the discussion if we have yet to resolve the split between those who promote personal writing and those who don't.
And just to make it that much more complicated, could there be a similar parallel about personal writing itself? What about personal narrative and the element of audience? How do those two relate? As present and future comp instructors, is there something about the way personal narrative addresses its audience that goes against the grain of the academic discourse to which we are committed to teach?
And are we resistant to this style of audience address b/c we kind of agree with the split b/tween "personal" writing and "academic" writing, even if pedagogically we know better? i.e. we know that writing is far more complicated than some oversimplified division between "genres" of writing......


  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Paul Macias said…

    As for myself, to whom the expressivistic, even romantic, approach to composition pedagogy appeals, I tend to look at all acts of writing/composition as personal. I don't really see the personal and academic as binary genres. Now, there is voice--of course--but that seems to be primarily an issue of audience, where as the essential acts of writing/composition, as I prefer to position them, are always personal; this is why I don't really have a problem calling blogerizing a writing genre of its own. Why not? It is, like you said in your post (I think), an unprecedented audience situation that can be used for student self-reflection.
    I don't know. I'm not feeling particularily scholarly or theoretical at the moment, but it just seems to me that it's all writing, and, if properly contextualized by the instructor, it's all going to help.

  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger bill tuck said…

    Hi Rachael,
    Since you brought up the issue of blogging and audience, and since I've been working with some questions and ideas on that topic as well, I thought of a few things that might be related to your ideas.

    Have you thought about the connection between audience and purpose, and how it affects the way we write in different genres? I've been trying to figure out the ways in which purpose dictates the audience (or the idea of an audience) for whom we write. For example, in your current post, it seems as though there is some initial inhibition or at least concern that is related to purpose. The sentence, "I felt like I should have more to 'report'" suggests that one possible purpose of blogging is to inform the audience. Based on the sentence I quoted, you seem to initially express some type of obligation to communicate information to the audience, and in the perceived absence of such information, the purpose of the post shifts in the next section.

    It becomes one of invention. The phrase "meandering thoughts" suggests that you are exploring ideas, and I noted that they are not just random ones, but ideas related to your topic as explored in your earlier oral rough draft. Here you're using writing as a heuristic, a way to find out what you think as you work towards more fully articulated ideas that you can use in your paper.

    Actually, now that I think about it, this kind of relates to the idea of "fictionalizing" an audience as explained in the Ong article I assigned for class. In the first section of your post, you're defining what the audience should allegedly not be, namely information seekers. Then in the second section of the post, the audience is cast in a role that I'll call "observers of Rachael's research process." We follow "meandering thoughts" as the post tries to make sense out of ideas and connections involving audience, the complications involving personal narrative and academic writing, etc. So it seems there is a connection between how you are envisioning the audience for this post and your ideas (perhaps unconscious) about the purpose of the post.


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