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PDS on the Rhetoric of Blogging: Ideas and Advice

November 6, 2009

I’ve been asked to share my experience with blogging to instructors at the University of Kentucky.  What better strategy than to go meta and write a blog post about blogging?  In a year (allegedly) the University of Kentucky Writing Program will spearhead a significant curricular shift, which is part of the university’s larger general education program change.  Writing instruction will become more aware of changing methods of communication and will strive to incorporate the spectrum of media and technology that’s now available.

The Writing Program will be offering a series of PDS(s) on the intersection between writing and these new media forms (photography, video, audio recording, and blogging).  For now, we’ve decided that blogs are the baseline tool that will allow students and instructors to explore and test the limits of converging communication patterns.  Without blogs, we’ll be unable to circulate much of the multi-media work that we do and that we’ll ask our students to do.

The Rhetoric of Blogging

Blogs are changing the way we read, understand, and disseminate information. By calling attention to the transience and immediacy of information, they are arguably even changing the way we write.  Sites like the Huffington Post are able to offer a diverse range of writing, commentary, news, analysis, and information.

Blogging Success Stories

Stuff White People Like
The Mudflats

Rhetorical Functions of Blogging

• Embedding links in post
• Nestling photos and videos
• Polls
• Immediacy
• Intertextuality
• Self-reflexivity


Choose a theme.  Have a vision for a blog that foresees what might follow whatever project or position you’re currently tackling.  Think about the niche your blog can have in the public audience.

Develop a strong RSS subscription list.  Find efficient ways to know which blogs are influential and to whom.

Fix Buffalo Today

Barefoot and Progressive


Pedagogy:  We can use blogs for class discussion, participation, announcements, etc. – The New Testament as Literature

Photo blogging or photo journalism– Disposable Words

Video journalism

Podcast or audio project hosting:  Et in Arcadia Ego

Writing and media

Techniques & Terms

Tags v. Categories



Good Examples

Pigs in the Parlor: Note the work done with photographs.

The Well Wrought Urn:  By linking to other major news sources, writers can insert themselves in a public conversation about situations that matter.


From → Lexington

  1. Thanks for the nice mention and the link!

    • No problem! Your blog is a model for how citizen writers who care about local events can produce consistently good writing and content and then gain a national audience

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. On rhetorics and poetics « The Rhetorical Art of Blogging
  2. The Rhetoric of Blogging 2.0: Anticipating “Curriculum Next” « The Well Wrought Urn

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