Not all digital rhetoric is online

Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but I haven’t yet begun to feel the sense of “community, collaboration, and empowerment” that Elizabeth Clark mentioned.

This is probably because the work we’re doing digitally hasn’t taken place online. Not yet, at least.

The essays we’ve written or the videos we’ve made have thus far only existed as private entities – not online collaborative entities. Maybe once they become part of our online eportfolio this will change.

It just feels an awful lot like working in a non-digital space at the moment.

However, I do agree with Clark that these three things CAN become benefits if one utilizes online spaces to their highest potential. These blog posts are good examples: there’s definitely a community present, both within our individual cohorts and with Sweetland as a whole. There’s also a sense of collaboration where comments are concerned. And yes, it is empowering to know that other people are reading our posts.

Therefore, I would alter Clark’s position in a way that distinguishes between digital rhetoric and online digital rhetoric. Working online has the ability to foster community, collaboration, and empowerment like Clark says, but not all digital rhetoric takes place online.

Brie Winnega

Hey, I'm Brie. I'm an English major who's addicted to reading, writing, and ponytails.

2 thoughts to “Not all digital rhetoric is online”

  1. Brie,

    I completely agree with what you said about our projects. While I do feel bits of the collaboration element, mostly from our peer editing groups and the fact that my projects really benefited from suggestions made in those groups, we have yet to share our final projects. I think that sharing – seeing how our peers modified their own ideas and integrated the ideas of others in their final projects – will instill a strong sense of collaboration and community. Once our final projects are posted online and become accessible to our “community,” I think we will all feel a sense of empowerment and pride as well.

  2. I agree with your comments on the reading as well. It’s hard to feel a sense of community when our work is still so private. In my post I mentioned something similar; even with our blog posts I feel like there could be more of a sense of community, perhaps if writer and reader conversed back and forth in a dialogue rather than simply having a reader make one comment on a writer’s post. However, if you compare our classroom to a writing classroom from 20 years ago, there has definitely been a lot of progress made toward using digital rhetoric to foster community. I agree that when our ePortfolio’s go live we’ll be able to feel that sense of community a bit more as we read and respond to each other’s work.

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