What does “digital rhetoric” mean to me?

After reading these three entries on “Blog Carnival,” I was quickly reminded just how broad of a term “digital rhetoric” is. The biggest takeaway I got is how rhetoric is becoming a more popular term and how it’s difficult to explain it. This semester has barely begun, but I’m already familiar with how much it takes to explain what rhetoric is. Although I’ve only been learning about rhetoric and digital rhetorical for a week, I already believe that I’m obtaining a good grasp at what these terms mean. To me, “digital rhetoric” is how effectively and efficiently you use language through forums online.

In Eyman’s blog entry, I really enjoyed how she listed “the primary activities in the field of digital rhetoric.” Understanding digital rhetoric can be really difficult since it covers so much, which is why I appreciate how Douglas exemplifies what it takes to perform digital rhetoric. These different activities help me to understand what exactly digital rhetoric is and what it encompasses.

The most memorable moment in Losh’s blog entry post is the part in which she discusses how she “defends” digital rhetoric to people that rhetoric is a field of importance in relation to digital media. Rhetoric is such an unfamiliar term to many people, causing confusion about what it actually means and its functions. Before I decided to become a WRC major, I didn’t know that much about rhetoric either—other than it dealt with persuasion. I’m finally discovering more and more about rhetoric, what it entails, and how to use it. For that reason, I really agree with Losh and love how she’s defending it to those who don’t know what it is.

In Mueller’s blog entry, the most memorable moment to me is how he clarifies digital rhetoric encompasses numerous collection of principles. I think this is really important because it can be difficult to explain what rhetoric is. Not to mention, many people do not what rhetoric means; perhaps because it’s an ambiguous term and it entails so much. I can totally relate with the difficulty of being motivated to explain rhetoric to those who ask about my WRC major. I really enjoyed how Mueller stated that digital rhetorics are driven to explain rhetoric to others because I’ve slowly gained this motivation as well.


One thought on “What does “digital rhetoric” mean to me?

  1. I appreciate you attempting to define a term that is so new to you, BayLeigh. In response to your point that it’s about language use in online forums I’d remind you that sometimes the word “language” can seem a bit restrictive, as much of what we can communicate via digital tools is done through images and symbols. Also, on the one hand, your suggestion that it’s confined to “online forums” might seem too narrow because it could seem to leave out digital tools and genres that don’t necessarily require being “online” or in a “forum” (e.g., using Word on your iPad or designing a video game) but that digital rhetoricians are certainly interested in. On the other hand, I think the words “online” and “forum” convey a sense of the interactivity and community that are so often key aspects of digital rhetoric. You’ve certainly honed in on the difficulty/necessity of considering these definitions in order to explain them to others! √+


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