description

  • stand outside the rhetorical exchange
  • use neutral language
  • address content and context

to further your description, make some notes on
  • what's left out? What's not mentioned that could be?
  • what's emphasized, and how
  • what kind of prose this is

other pro web presence sites
http://mcmorgan.org
http://mattbarton.net
http://andrewkeen.typepad.com/
http://downes.ca/
http://feltron.com/ < interesting for redefining

Professional Web Presence Project

Drafted 4 Feb 2010. Revised 9 Feb 2010; 12 Feb 2010

Target Sites

http://emilycummins.co.uk
http://stallman.org/

We're going to look at how a "professional web presence" functions rhetorically - that is,

What elements rhetors use to persuade, and how they use them, in personal professional web presence sites.

Genre: Professional home page or Site
These sites are constructed to create a "professional web presence," a purpose that has been borrowed from corporate sites. A general purpose of the site the construction of a public ethos using web elements (design, images, links, web based text, heads, information of updates, visual signals of professionalism in the field), and information from professional life and activities.

See Notes on GenreCharacteristicsOfPersonalWebPresenceSites

How to proceed


Part 1: Systematically describe
refer to Stoner, chap 4, 46 - 60

You've already started describing the Emily Cummins site. Turn your attention to http://stallman.org/.

Confine your work with Stallman to the page you land on at http://stallman.org/. You may have to look at other pages, but confine your description to this main page. It's rhetorically more complex than the Cummins site, so you'll have to be more systematic in your description.

Record your thinking. That is, make notes as you work.

Later, you'll return to your notes on the Cummins site to develop the description a little further.

Part 1a: Text-Context Interaction
Some new vocabulary will help you start to make sense of the two sites.

In a new page or under a heading on your main project page, make some notes on the Text-Context interaction for both the Cummins and Stallman sites. Refer to Stoner, chap 4, pp 60 - 66. This means considering how each site meets or does not meet the implicit expectations or conforms or departs from the conventions of this kind of site. Because the genre is just firming up, a handlist of expectations is useful: see Notes on GenreCharacteristicsOfPersonalWebPresenceSites. As a group, or individsually, we can add to this or adapt it as we observe.

Part 2: Apply a Search Model

With the addition of a search model, we can tighten up what we're looking at in these sites:

What rhetorical devices and strategies do these two rhetors use to create an ethos on these two web presence sites?

Look at the active elements you see working, and the strategies you see at work.

Two starting points

The use of rhetorical appeals: ethos, especially, but also consider logos and pathos (under Invention in chap 9)
pp 137 - 153 in image, text, design. Look to patterns as a way into analysis of these
does one dominate?
is there a pattern to their use?
how are they used: in what circumstances?

audience - rhetor relationship: the roles readers are cast in by the pages
That is, every address of a rhetorical situation implies a role played by the rhetor in addressing it. And every role played by a rhetor in the text implies a concomitant role the reader is to play for the message to work. In other words, audiences are signaled and given stuff to play the role or not. Analysis of this relationship would look at strategies the rhetor uses in defining that relationship.

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