Engaging with and Arranging for Publics in Blog Genres
Issue: Vol 3 No. 1 (2007)
Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences
In this paper, we take a rhetorical approach to weblogs, examining two sets of blogs: blogs responding to a national literary event called Canada Reads and ‘homeless blogs.’ Taking up Miller and Shepherd’s proposal (2004) that the exigence of the blog is self cultivation and validation, we examine how such an exigence may be met, not through entering and building community, but engaging with and arranging for recognition in what Michael Warner calls ‘discursive publics’ (2002:121). By focusing on uptake (Freadman 2002) as a public dynamic, we suggest how features of the blog such as blog posts and ‘meta-generic’ commentary (Giltrow 2002:192) about antecedent genres may enable a blogger to legitimate the self as an integral part and perpetuator of publics: a blogger’s uptake both actualizes a public (declaring membership), and imagines it anew (envisioning subsequent uptakes).
Author: Kathryn Grafton, Elizabeth Maurer