I choose another food website named Cooking Comically as my digital rhetoric example, but this time it is not a blog, but a website. It is such a creative idea to put recipes and comics together. How does it relate to digital rhetoric? Let me explain. As we discussed in class, rhetoric is the art of using language to persuade others, and digital rhetoric is an extension of traditional rhetoric. So basically the difference between traditional rhetoric and digital rhetoric is computer or technology. This website itself is created based on the use of internet and computer as well as the application of computer science on building website including coding, programming, etc. The comics in the content are drawn through updated drawing tools in the computer, and are uploaded regularly through internet. Therefore, almost every detail that composed this website was a product of digital technology. In terms of rhetoric, it is a way of communication, to express ideas and persuade others. A cooking recipe website cannot be more representative in this sense; it draws people’s attention through creative ideas, and persuades them to cook following the recipes with entertaining comics and mouth-watering pictures. If you happened to cook according to his instruction, and it turned out great, then the rhetoric was successful because it persuaded you to perhaps cook again following his recipe.
In addition to the definition of digital rhetoric, I would like to talk about some features of digital rhetoric taking the Cooking Comically website as an example. In digital rhetoric, there are special identities formed online. The persons presented online might not be who they really are. In Cooking Comically, we cannot know who the creator is, what his job is, or where he lives through his comics. What we only know is that he enjoys cooking and draws great comics. If he did not tell, we can hardly know the gender of the creator. However, today’s media allows people to go online and search about each other, and in most cases, they can get somewhat results. In this case, we could still utilize the power of internet to search and know more about the creator of the website. It is because of digital technology, the edge between privacy and publicity is blurred; it is also because of digital technology, the search about each other becomes easier.
I noticed a lot of digital rhetoric has a lot of links to other rhetoric or social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Therefore, digital rhetoric has the feature of multitasking and information flow. We could read the comics on the website and turn to its Facebook page and like it or recommend it to friends, or tweet it with hashtag. In this sense, both breadth and depth of digital rhetoric are developed by the audience, and the audience also becomes the creator or the composer.
I think digital rhetoric, as a sharing platform, is more inclusive on the writers and the audience. It enables everyone to be part of it, and actively participate in its changes and development. Just like Cooking Comically, the audience has the opportunity to make comments on the recipes like a composer while the composer has chance to listen to feedbacks like an audience. All in all, what makes the website compelling is not only his idea of making the combination of comics and recipes, but also the allowance of interaction and information flow through the website and social media.