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Believing in the Power of Style

nk0825's picture

I believe that this week's assignment to read both Hannah and Professor Dalke's blogs made me extremely aware of how I felt not only as a reader, but as a student studying the blog as an emerging genre. As I read Hannah's personal accounts describing her experiences in Chile it made me think back to the "voyeurism" idea we were discussing in class the other day. Since we, as a class, had been expected to familiarize ourselves with Hannah's blog it was an invitation to read about experiences the writer obviously wanted to share. And, I think that those who criticize individuals for being internet voyeurs forget how simply sitting back and observing a conversation is just as educational as being involved in it. Granted, I will admit that if people do not engage in conversation the conversation is nonexistant, yet I believe that for students like us, trying to get a sense of the blogosphere, it is extremely helpful to "lurk" on a wide variety of blogs. 

Also in class the other day, as Ruby discussed in her post, the class discussed why and how blogs can be considered a genre. There is an umbrella that includes the idea of blogs and from there more specific genres classify content, structure, etc. Through reading both Professor Dalke's blog and Hannah's blog I realized that these two blogs about similar topics (travels and experiences in another country) marked another, I (now) think very important, classification of blogs: style. Hannah's posts were informal; an almost simple way of narrating the wonderful experiences she had. On the other hand, Professor Dalke's was more formal (though possibly not intended to be that way) and deeper--often posing questions that provoked her readers to think. Another notable difference was that Professor Dalke often scattered various links in her posts, whereas Hannah did not. Did Hannah feel that her first hand experiences were more valuable and authentic without the help of external information? Did Professor Dalke expect her audience to follow the links, and did she also believe that her thoughts and posts could stand on their own without the links if readers chose not to use them?

In both cases, Professor Dalke and Hannah used pictures that I personally believed made the blogs even more captivating because they brought the written experiences to life. Without these pictures I think the blogs would have left a lot of questions unanswered. Providing pictures cuts out a lot of having to describe things and focus more on the individual experiences, but was this the reason why both bloggers chose to use pictures? I was also curious to know why Hannah, who included personal experiences in day to day activities, chose to not discuss her emotions very much. I would expect that at first, besides being excited to explore a new country, she would have been a bit homesick and experiencing some culture shock. Did she plan on her blog being a more informative way of sharing her travels? At times, did she knowingly censor or alter her emotions in order to make it appear as if she was having as much fun as her readers expected? 

I think that while both blogs sought similar audiences to share their experiences with, each blog attracted its own type of audience caused not by content but by the style in which she wrote and shared her information.

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