Before I read Andrew Sullivan’s piece, I’d seen blogging as just another way to get one’s opinions out to a general public. I perceived blogging as a personal endeavor that bloggers rarely intended to go public with. I might have thought this due to my own reasons for blogging before this class. I’d been blogging mainly for myself and also for my family and friends whom I kept updated through my blog posts. I also had never given much thought to the level of interactivity that a blogger anticipated and even appreciated from a blog post.
However, Sullivan’s description of his experiences with having continuous discussions with his readers prompted me to evaluate bloggers’ intentions when they publish a blog post. It seemed that Sullivan needed constant feedback from his readers in order to write posts which were relevant and interesting. This challenged me to rethink the way that I thought bloggers planned their blog posts. Sullivan’s piece made me see that many bloggers, in fact, set goals to reach out to specific readers and to initiate discussions and debates with their readers, instead of simply to reach an audience which was passive and was accepting of everything the blogger writes. My own experience in blogging in this minor blog had also taught me that there could be friendly opposition in responses to a blogger’s opinions and that this opposition might be a very helpful aspect of blogging as it could help inform a blogger. Sullivan also touched on this (in reference to a much larger scale of blogging) when he wrote that “a blogger splashe[d] gamely into a subject and dare[d] the sources to come to him.”
I think that blogging, unlike most genres and modes of writing, gives a writer a lot of freedom in the speed at which he or she can share his or her thoughts to a wide audience and receive feedback almost instantly. Unlike authors who have to wait until their books hit the shelves and become read by a sizable audience before the authors can receive feedback from critics and readers, bloggers only have to wait for a short period of time to hear from their audience. Sullivan highlights this in his piece when he writes, “Now the feedback was instant…”
Another way in which blogging differs a lot from other modes of writing is in the audience that it attracts. Published books are usually read by an audience that intends to read about a particular subject. A book reader isn’t likely to pick up a book about a subject that doesn’t interest him or her. On the other hand, a blog reader can easily stumble upon a blog post that challenges his or her opinions as long as the reader has access to the Internet. I think, in this way, blogging affords a bigger and more varied audience to a writer.
The types of audience that blogging affords is a part of what I look forward to in my repurposing essay. For my next essay, I am going to work on repurposing an argumentative paper written as an open letter to my peers. I want to reach out to a bigger audience by writing for an online magazine that has a broader range of audience. I plan to make my article informative and persuasive, and I also expect to get feedback from my readers. I think that in some ways, the article is much like a blog post as I expect it to generate discussion among readers.