Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why Don't They Comment on Our Blogs: An Issue of Audience

In today's class we talked about how we use language differently for different writing situations. For the first paper my students are asked to compose a linguistic literacy autobiography in which they analyze the differences between their home and school languages. In today's discussion we talked about the language of our blogs. Some students felt that because their class blogs discuss literacy and academic issues, most of them felt compelled to use some variety of Standard English in order to prove their credibility and ability to respond "intelligently" to academic arguments (we complicate this notion of a Standard and issues of intelligence, correctness, etc. in class discussions). Others attempted to draw on other varieties of English, including texting or digital language because of the genre that they're using. Since it's a blog, and since blogs are digital, they argue that digital language should be acceptable.

We then discussed the consequences for choosing a specific language variety. From this conversation we turned to issues of audience and what judgments our blog audiences may make based on what and how we write. I then informed my students that they are writing for a real audience and some of my colleagues even read their blogs. After revealing this (in case some students hadn't yet viewed comments on my own blog that respond to their blog postings), one of my students asked why viewers outside of the class didn't leave comments on their blogs. "Hmmmmm. I dunno," I told him/her. I also said that sometimes people take a while to familiarize themselves with the blog before they leave comments, and that it took readers some time before they even began posting comments on my blog. We then began commenting on each others' blogs in class to bounce off additional ideas for trying out new Invention, Arrangement and Revision strategies. Maybe if we create a stronger community of scholars and begin to comment on each others' blogs, those outside of our class may comment too? I also suggested that studentsm might view their profile views on their blogs to get an indication of how many people are checking out the blogger's profile, hence checking out the blog to see if people are reading. That's what I did before I started receiving comments.

What do you think? Why don't people leave comment on blogs? Isn't silence a language choice too?


1 comment:

I Q said...

i do when i have time. i think it is very fun to read and surely we can learn a lot from it. I like this activity, in the past i have done written diary but it really bores me because no one will read it and i am not a type of person who would like to keep a secret with myself. I perceive communication as a key to success. we can learn from each other via conversation. spreading news, express our feelings. it is a great way to seek answeres or get a second opinions from people.