"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time..." -- Kerouac

Friday, October 14, 2005

New reading

You guys rocked last night!
At least, I thought you did.

OK, this is the week we really focus on words, on rhetoric, on writing style. Does the blogosphere have its own writing aesthetic? Is that aesthetic seeping in and possibly corrupting (or animating!) other writing? What kinds of tropes and literary tendencies are you picking up. Who are the stylistic innovators? What kinds of freedom takes hold of a writer who doesn't really have to worry about readers?

Go back and read some of the web-writing you've liked. If there are other writers you've stumbled across who merit our attention, let me know, in your blogs or in an email.

And read these:
big rep as a strong writer

buncha crazy innovators...what they up to?

interesting interplay of text and photo

not sure WHO this is

clearly attempting literature

let's go back and read her again more closely ... maybe she'll come to class

ok, this is weird


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At 8:57 AM, Blogger Aldon Hynes said...

Hey, it was great to visit all of you last night. Let me toss in a few thoughts about the question and the class.

Does the blogosphere have its own writing aesthetic? I think, as illustrated by the drawing on the board about different communities within the blogosphere, it may be useful to think about writing aesthetics withing the blogosphere on a more community by community basis. Political blogs are going to have a very different writing aesthetic than teen angst blogs.

I mentioned Xanga in class last night. You might want to check out the 8500+ xanga blogs in the Hartford area here.

Go out and look at the use of different colors, fonts and emoticons. Also, note the use of 'IM' type speak.


"i love u, IAN MICHAEL PAVITT much...and i miss u...."

Note the use of lower case i's abbreviating 'you' to 'u', 'are' to 'r' and my favorite 'Why?' to 'pq?'

Also note heavy use of elipsis, and ways of laughing on line. hehehe LOL, ROFLMAO ;-)

Another interesting area to explore is some of the blogs that are much more community building and conversational. In particular, I like to point out Michele Agnew

Her posts are very focused on getting people to interact. She is more 'grown up' so instead of using weird colors and IM style abbreviations, she uses a more restrained typographic style. She still uses bold, and italics and a little bit of color. Her writing is closer to full sentences.

For those interested in a more rigorous study of this topic, I would suggest doing searches on 'content analysis computer mediated communications' as well as looking for writings about 'social cues'.

One of the first things you are likely to find is references to Susan Herring's work in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis.

Her paper, Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs is a great starting point on the academic side. It also has a lot of great links at the bottom.

It is also worth noting that it follows at least some of the form of blogs. with categories, comments and linkrolls. Clearly, academic bloggers have their own writing aesthetic.

Even this message, starting of with "Hey..." is reflecting part of a conversational aesthetic online.

Just a few random thoughts. Have a great class.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Pinko Punko said...

OH CRAP. We got picked for being derivative!!!!!!!!!!

It's like you are saying we are Kingdom Come to Led Zeppelin, like Aerosmith to the Stones!

Wait til; the CApt. hears about this. He is going to shove our faces in it. I hate the Capt.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Brett said...

Thanks for taking all the good ideas Aldon. Now what the hell am I going to write about. Geez, I can't stand these smart people.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, you linked to me, saying, "I'm not sure WHO this is." I'm not sure WHO you are either, but thanks for reading! If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask. - Rumblelizard

At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Gavin M. said...

Aha. Now, how's WRTC doing?

I lived in Farmington as a sullen punk teen -- show was the Ramones at Stage West, 1982.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Coffey0072 said...

Not sure exactly what your blogging class entails...
But thank you for visiting my weblog.
I think it's interesting that blogging is becoming part of the college curriculum, as it is an amazing phenomenon.
Blogging spans a wide spectrum, and there're so many different ones to read.
Thanks for reading mine.

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool blog you got! I just added you to my bookmarks!

I have a great article resource you might want to check out.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Aldon Hynes said...


I don't want to take all the good ideas... I'm not even in the class. However, I hope my comments will provide you good starting points.

So, let me toss out a few different blogs I've recently stumbled across that you all might like:

Asking My Students To Write Stories Without Words As a Means to Consider the Elements of Writing

Union Square Ventures

State of the Heart

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Gavin M. said...

Is that aesthetic seeping in and possibly corrupting (or animating!) other writing?

This is a question that goes both ways.

A fairly striking number of left-political bloggers have professional writing experience. Among our immediate pals and colleagues at Sadly, No, at least a dozen (including two of our three main contributors) have published in mainstream journals.

We see our mission as corrupting other writing, certainly. But it's also true that the game of commercial (or professional) writing seems, to an extent, to lead people toward an ideal of anonymous self-publishing.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Pinko Punko said...

Obviously, it would be super meta for "blogging" type convo to influence writing, it is really more of a conversational medium. The types of phrases that might lead up to links perhaps could enter other writing as ways of poorly introducing sources and data. One main defect of a lot of blogging is that links are haphazardly introduced and inadequately explained. We do that for a reason, many times a link is punch line or a joke- "click to open"- as it were. Much of bad blog type writing is basically the same as bad e-mail writing, it's just out there for everyone to see. I don't think it will influence writing, but instead be evidence that more people are out there expressing themselves in written form.

Serious Punko OUT!

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