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InterpretingTheWeblog


For the past few weeks, we've looked at how a few weblogs work rhetorically: how they shape or influence visitors' attitudes, values, and understanding. We've looked at some of the common social interactions bloggers work with, how they position their readers, and how they use appeals. Now it's time to try your hand.

Interpretation
Create a weblog with a few (4 - 6) postings to illustrate the significance of what you found in your rhetorical analysis.

Do this in such a way that you are essentially commenting on either what you and your group found rhetorically interesting in the weblog you worked with, or what you find rhetorically interesting in weblogs more broadly.

How
Do this as a mock up of a blog with card, paper, markers and pencils, paste ups, images from magazines ... You can word process text, print it and paste it in. Ditto images.
Create your artifact in such a way as to focus our attention on features that you are interpreting, and in doing so make your argument. For instance, what does changing the blogroll start to tell us about the significance of that rhetorical feature? How about the titles of posts? The times posted? The text of the posts themselves? The images?

Simply working in card rather than pixels will call attention features that would otherwise go unnoticed, so work with that.


Bring your artifact to class for our next meeting. We'll post them around the room for consideration and discussion.


Interpretation (chap 6) addresses the "So what?" the significance of your analysis. You're trying, in your interpretive work, to tell us something about significance of the weblog you studied or weblogs in general, something we are better for knowing.

Your aim in creating an interpretation of the weblog you worked with is to
• illustrate
• illuminate
• shed light on
• bring to the foreground to let others think about

a rhetorical aspect of the weblog or weblogs in general - and to do so in such a way that others can take something away. A new way of understanding the weblogs, perhaps. Or an insight - even a small one - into weblogs and how they are used rhetorically. It does not need to be earth shattering.



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