Engaging with and Arranging for Publics in Blog Genres

TitleEngaging with and Arranging for Publics in Blog Genres
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGrafton, Kathryn, and Elizabeth Maurer
JournalLinguistics and the Human Sciences
Keywordsblog, community, genre, meta-genre, public, uptake

In this paper, we take a rhetorical approach to weblogs, examining two sets of blogs:blogs responding to a national literary event called Canada Reads and ‘homeless
blogs’. Taking up Miller and Shepherd’s proposal (2004) that the exigence of the blog
is self cultivation and validation, we examine how such an exigence may be met, not
through entering and building community, but engaging with and arranging for recognition
in what Michael Warner calls ‘discursive publics’ (2002:121). By focusing on
uptake (Freadman 2002) as a public dynamic, we suggest how features of the blog such
as blog posts and ‘meta-generic’ commentary (Giltrow 2002:192) about antecedent
genres may enable a blogger to legitimate the self as an integral part and perpetuator
of publics: a blogger’s uptake both actualizes a public (declaring membership), and
imagines it anew (envisioning subsequent uptakes).