Audience Engagement Techniques

refer to Myers, chap 6: "Audience: A checklist in engaging readers."

Start a new page on your own wikiname page: AudienceEngagementTechniques - followed by your initials.

Use the two texts below, and make notes analyzing each text using the headings that Myers uses in chap 6. Don't expect to find occurrences of every one of these elements. Refer to Myers chap 6 for details.


Techniques for engaging audience address footing: the ways in the text or blog post that audiences are created.

Footing allows us to describe a complex and subtle interaction of production and participation - one more attuned to what can happen in blogs - with reference to all readers, a specific set, just one person, and with respect to an apparently intended audience, an implied audience, and a real audience.

As you work with the techniques, watch for how the footing shifts or is being manipulated by the use of techniques.

The Techniques

These first four techniques are the easiest to spot.

Occurrences of this next technique are visible in the text as dramatizing one half or a complete interaction:

Flouts of implicature are a little more difficult to spot, but you've had some experience in looking at flouts in an earlier project:

Using politeness as a technique seems pretty common. The signal of engaging an audience is often in the modal: moderating or easing an otherwise sharp statement:

This last set of techniques can appear in register (the kind of language used), underlying and unstated expectations. But there will be other ways of drawing on shared expectations that that Meyers doesn't mention. Images, maybe. Music, maybe. Others?

Spotting and collecting the occurrences of various techniques is the first move. But don't jump to conclusions about what the use of the technique means. Collect more. As you discover patterns of techniques in the blog, you can start to consider specifically how the technique is being used in the context of the specific blog and specific post. Modify your considerations as you see patterns developing.

The Blogs


Start by reading over the entries and looking over the blog to get a sense the text and context. No need to closely describe this time, but a few notes will help you orient yourself to the blog.

You're reading for technique. To get in close, I'd suggest that you copy and paste selections from the blogs into your own page, then annotate, edit, rearrange, cut, and mark things up to organize and highlight examples, add commentary, and reveal patterns of devices. You're aiming for an analysis, so take the balcony stance, be neutral, fair, and complete; work methodically (make multiple passes), and use the terminology from Myers.

Take note of hiccups

Note places where it's difficult to pin down what's happening with respect to audience: where you're not quite sure what's happening and Myers's fails to explain. Those are places that we need to look at more closely.

What you're watching for

After you have done notes, comment on these in a brief summary based on those notes. (Patterns!)

Keep Myers, chap 6 in front of you as you work.

Next: Interpretation.


Techniques for Engaging an Audience, from Myers
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