When I was applying to colleges, my teachers used to always tell me to target schools that incorporate writing into all subjects. They said this was because a good idea is wasted if one is not able to communicate it effectively to others, and so writing is valuable in every discipline. Though I do believe that they raise important point, having excellent writing skills is not enough in this day and age.
Writing is no longer solely based in physical books, essays, newspapers, etc., now more and more of it is ending up online. So what makes online writing “good” writing? Well one would still need the excellent writing skills, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Even within excellent writing, the mindset of writing is vastly different online than it is in concrete and tangible form. Instead of having a distinct point and end to reach, there instead exists an ambiguous idea of an end which is reachable after getting input from the innumerable people and resources you have at your disposal: “Growth is determined by the encouragement and critique of the community… Organic material and compositions move through particular stages with a goal in mind but the process takes precedence over the product” (Rorabaugh). This means that in order to have interesting and superior online writing, and blogs specifically, it’s vital to not only keep in mind that online writing is more about the process, but also that there are more voices to listen to other than just your own. That might mean having no idea where a piece of writing is going, to just let it flow. That kind of freedom is exciting, but also intimidating and frightful.
Not only is it important to let other voices help write a piece, but it’s also crucial to recognize the audience and the nature of the internet: “Our writing is in a state where every text begins at meaninglessness, until it finds harbor and use elsewhere, becoming meaningful only by association” (Morris). To have a good blog is to have a blog that initiates dialogue in whatever form that might be, whether it’s reposted, commented on, added on to, etc., it should have a purpose greater than simply being read, and that’s how it differs from most “hard” writings.
Michael Morris, Sean. “Digital Writing Uprising: Third-order Thinking in the Digital Humanities – Hybrid Pedagogy.” Hybrid Pedagogy. 7 Oct. 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2015.
Rorabaugh, Pete. “Organic Writing and Digital Media: Seeds and Organs – Hybrid Pedagogy.” Hybrid Pedagogy. 21 June 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2015.