Getting Started with Blogs

We'll spend a few days getting familiar with weblogs - their posts, affordances, the genre and perhaps sub-genres using S&P and Myers as guides and your application of method (describe, analyze) to develop what we're looking at.

Start a new page: GettingStartedWithBlogs - followed by your initials.

Locate two blogs

Locate two individually owned and run blogs - not corporate blogs but two blogs owned and written by individuals. A good way to start is to google.

Try googling for a genre
This search may not take you directly to a blog to work with but it will net you sites that list blogs to select from.

The next move is finding a non-corporate blog: one owned by an individual. On many blogs, the About page will give you a sense of who runs it. Check there first.

First hurdle: Make sure you select an individual's blog and not a corporate blog. The blogger may own a company or business (many do): that's ok. But you're looking for a blog written by the owner for her own ends.

Here are a few if you can't find any

Describe the blog and rhetorical context

Describe each blog and the rhetorical context. Draw on what we've been doing so far, but also on Myers, chap 1 and 2 for describing the blog itself and determining the genre of the blog. (see 2.2, pp 18ff). Myers gives you some descriptive terminology throughout chapters 1 -2 to draw on. Don't spend too much time on a description of the layout: those are now pretty standard. Instead, describe features appropriate to blogs

The last two above demand that you describe some representative postings of text. Myers mentions stylistic markers on p 19. But you also want to draw on the stylistic devices S&P mention in chap 9.

Next, describe the rhetorical context: the "relevant and significant social conditions, needs, [and] symbols, which serve as guidelines for interpreting [the rhetorical] messages" pp 53ff, as well as the implied and actual agents involved.

Obviously you're not going to read every post, and you are watching for patterns - some regularities that characterize this blog as set against another.


Spend some solid time on this task: the description is vital to analysis. Maybe 1-1/2 - 2 hrs on each. Length is difficult to gage: 500 concise words for the blog and the same for the context is good. But you continue to refine the description until you can confidently characterize the site and circumstances for someone who isn't looking at it. These descriptions will probably be more detailed than the work with the text-context sites. You're descriptions should be getting more concise, more observant with each new pass.

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