Rhetoric Carnival?

In my daily online reading, I encounter weblogs from a variety of disciplines, and I see weblogs used in all kinds of ways. It's not that I think any one discipline exemplifies "best practices" of using weblogs, but sometimes I look at what others do with weblogs and then look at what we as rhetoricians do, and I think, could we do better? Could we be more seriously and intellectually engaged with each other, at least some of the time? (Not all the time. I love fun posts and would never want to see those go away!)

See, for example, Crooked Timber's China Miéville Seminar. Several Crooked Timber posters read Miéville's novel Iron Council and wrote thoughtful essays on it. Links to the essays were all brought together in one post, and readers can read and leave comments under the essays, to which the authors of the essays respond. They even got Miéville himself to contribute an essay in response to the others. Just look at it; there's a lot of rich intellectual exchange going on. It's a beautiful thing.

See also the History Carnival, a cooperative effort to round up historical scholarship on weblogs. First there was a call for posts (also on the History Carnival site), then a blogger volunteers to collect that issue's submissions and post them to her weblog; the first issue is at Early Modern Notes. Again, wow. I'm impressed as all getout that people are networking scholarly writing like this.

I think we should do something like this. People who study communication and, in particular, communication online, are not yet making the most of the affordances provided by weblogs. So let's do this thing! Would you rather do a seminar or a carnival, or do you have other ideas?

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.


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Sounds like a great idea! Not

Sounds like a great idea! Not sure I'd have anything to contribute, but I'd give it a shot and I certainly read everything with interest.

and also...

John Holbo also ("also" bc he's a CT contributor) did something recently on Gerald Graff's new book, and there was a nice series of comment conversations, with Graff himself stopping by....

I think that it's just a matter of gathering a critical mass of people around a particular text--that's pretty much what we used to do back in the heyday of the Pretext list: pick a text, invite the author, read and chat. So I'd say let's pick a text that we all want to read, take a couple weeks to read it, and then do it.


ps. Laura, I think you unintentionally demonstrated the value of actually titling comments...;-)

Oh yes.

You've been following that too? Good stuff. (Here and here for those who'd like to see.)

I think it would be effective to not only ask for volunteers, but invite those who we think would do a good job with it but perhaps wouldn't do it unless invited. It's the flattery factor. :-)

or . . .

and I'm serious about this. Want to do a group reading that corresponds with your current rhetoric and network class? Something your group is reading? Could be fun :) I think we could get a lot of people involved.

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