In what ways will a blog be different from an essay? Well before going into all the essential differences, how about what makes the two similar? Whether it’s a post to the internet or a paper for class, whatever I write will be a hard copy of my thoughts or feelings for all to see (figuratively speaking). It takes careful consideration and constant thought to muster up the right words and deliver onto paper or keyboard. And whatever I compose the first time will probably need editing and revision before it becomes the piece I am willing to share.
Now this may sound like the prep-period to writing most essays, but do people really think like this for something as ‘freely-expressed’ as a post to their blog? Whether or not it is something a majority of internet writers do, it is something I try to always do. Now, I have very little experience in writing blogs, however, I do have a reputation amongst my friends and family as someone who loves to post long statuses on Twitter and Facebook. And for each of these posts, no matter how short, I go through the processes that Pete Rorabaugh mentions in his piece, “Seeds and Organs”. I usually have a single thought, at first, that, after some pondering, sprouts into enough of a coherent sentence/phrase to make me think I’d like to write it down.
So in the cases of idea-analyzing, prep-work, and early construction, I think that the traditional essay and the internet posts of the new age share many paralleled qualities. Whichever style of writing you prefer, I’m sure you prefer it to be pretty darn good, or at least just good. Now the disparity between blogs and essays, I think, comes into view when the digital posts become multi-modal (because they’re interactive). Though essays in the traditional format can contain graphs or pictures or other secondary forms of visual stimulus, they cannot quite reach the level of interaction that can be done with blog posts. To borrow a quote here, “Essays quake and tremble at the digital”, (Morris, Digital Writing Uprising).