After reading other people’s posts about writing communities they belong to, it helped me realize there are other ways to define a writing community. I was surprised to see that many people defined it based on classes they were in. When I first approached the idea, I thought about writing communities in a more general way.
The two writing communities I belong to are the new media one and the academia one. With new media writing, it’s more informal and doesn’t have to go through a long editing process. New media gives me the ability to write something, read it over once, and hit post. There’s Twitter where you have to be really concise, but with a blog you can write as much as you want. With new media, it can transcend beyond traditional writing and you can connect images, video, sound, or hyperlinks into the writing.
With academic writing, everything is generally written in essay form, which requires a more lengthy editing and revision process. While the language I’ve used hasn’t necessarily been formal, the structure of the essay usually has a minimum page requirement. As I mentioned new media doesn’t have these constraints. There also isn’t any flexibility to add other forms of media or necessarily be creative.
Comparing the two, visually any two essays will look the same, but if you look at two new media posts, they can vary depending on the site they live on. Both of these communities still value clarity and conciseness with the argument that it is more important in new media, because of people’s short attention spans.
It looks like these are two different worlds almost incapable of intersecting, but who knows? One day, professors may be more flexible about the essay structure in academic writing.