Blurring the Borders of Rhetoric and Hypertextuality in Weblogs

Early, link-heavy blogs were, for the most part, a method of sharing links. They usually contained entries that consisted of one or two hyperlinks, the blogger’s commentary on the link’s content, and a place for other bloggers to make comments about the entry. These early blogs often focused on what <a href=”htttp://”>Blood calls “the dissemination and interpretation of the news.” By linking to news articles from “lesser-known sources” that might be otherwise overlooked by the “typical web user,” weblog authors supply “additional facts, alternative views, and thoughtful commentary” that is often unavailable from large news sources (10/01/03). See Appendix A.

As blogging became more popular, many weblogs shifted from the original, link-heavy forms that dominated early blogs, to a free-form on-line journal where authors have begun to write more freely and frequently. Many blog entries now contain no links at all, as the new generation of bloggers share “notes about the weekend, [or] a quick reflection on some subject or another” (<a href=””>Blood 10/01/03). Many bloggers write bi-daily in these journals, which serve as more of an ?Update-in-the-life-of?,? than a source for news. See <a href=””>Appendix B.

Although weblog journals have gained immense popularity over the past four years, the original link-heavy style is still respected by many current weblogs. —Kirsten Schubert, a former student of mine, in her senior capstone paper at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. —Blurring the Borders of Rhetoric and Hypertextuality in Weblogs (The Hypertext Project)

Kirsten’s blog truncated my (long) comment, so I’ll post my reaction to her paper below.