Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blogs: Propagating thoughts and plain style

                A blog is a place for someone to write about anything under the sun. Whether it be life events, rants or raves, or helpful hints on where to invest stock or how to be successful in college you can find a blog for nearly any subject mainstream or obscure. Because of the subjective nature of a blog there are an infinite number of styles to write a blog; however most often blogs will be written in the plain style. This is because the majority of the authors and readers of blogs are intrinsically motivated to seek information on various topics. Such an example of this plain style is a post on the blog website MysticMadness.com entitled “10 Ways to Live Life to the Fullest.” This post is one of hundreds that are on the website which contains blog posts about everything from body and soul to business management and everything in-between.

            “10 Ways to Live Life to the Fullest” is written in the plain style which allows readers from various backgrounds and walks of life to participate in a specific activity system that the blog offers. This engagement in the activity system manifests via a comments section following the post in which readers are encouraged to express their thoughts, opinions, and own perspectives about what it means to live life to its fullest. Active participation creates a collaborative effort that addresses society’s need for a medium to allow for propagation of ideas and theories. More specifically, this collaborative effort is facilitated through metabasis and exemplum which are rhetoric devices that seem to prompt discussion within blogs as well as connect various activity systems to each other.           

            The organization of this blog post in arranged in such a way that there are three introductory paragraphs followed by 10 bullet points. The three introductory paragraphs function to introduce the reader to what the post is about and what will follow; this can be defined as the rhetoric device known as metabasis. Metabasis is a technique that creates a fluid clarity between the author and the reader as to what is to be expected. The text explicitly states:

“Let’s start with 10 ways and I would love to hear your views apart from your own little hacks. Let the discussion be more natural and talk about things that really make a difference.”

            Metabasis is often a way for the author to outline what their main focus is in a way that can reach a wide audience and several activity systems. In doing so, the author creates a level playing field for the basis of what is going to be discussed. The previous excerpt portrays the author’s effort to distinctly identify what the reader can expect to happen next. That is, the reader can expect to find ten ways to live life to its fullest as well as partake in a discussion about how others may interpret what it means to do so. The hacks that are associated with the ten tips are in and of themselves another rhetoric device that the author uses known as exemplum.

             Exemplum is a technique that is used to provide clarity through the use of specific examples. Hacks, which portray something through experience, are found in coordination with every bullet point. After stating a way to live life to its fullest and briefly explaining the point further, the author provides a specific example about how they themselves live by the point. For example:

 1) Be Happy- This may sound like an old cliché but it is packed with a powerful meaning. Start the day with a joyous mood. Develop a habit of it by reminding yourself over and over again. A conscious effort, even when you have a bad mood, can play the trick for you. Talk to yourself, ask why you are sad. Force yourself to be happy by pumping up your spirit. Your Happiness is in you on hands, don’t ruin your very existence. Fill yourself with happiness and always reason for it.

Hack- Start your day with some good music with great lyrics. Distribute happiness around because it reflects back.”

            As you can see, the main idea of the bullet point is bolded and underlined followed by an explanation that is approximately a paragraph long. Furthermore, a hack is provided following the brief description that portrays a real world example of how to achieve the main idea of the bullet point. Hacks provide the reader with an additional layer of information to further propagate understanding and interpretation of the point that the author is conveying. Subsequently this allows for specific talking points for readers to base their discussion off of and ultimately lead to collaborative efforts of an exploration of knowledge and thought

            Both metabasis and exemplum are tactics that, when implemented together, ensure the point the author is conveying is expressed with clarity and charm. By explaining what is to be expected, organizing the post into bullet points, and providing concrete examples the author is presenting their ideas in such a way that bridges a wide array of activity systems therefore enabling readers from various aspects of life and activity systems to engage with one another. In addition, the author is creating a new activity system, through which many other activity systems are connected, to allow for their own ideas and opinions to be criticized and explored. More clearly, this is achieved through the proposition of a subject that is frequently sought after by individuals from varying life paths; how do you live life to its fullest. Asked by many and answered by few, this age old question provides people with the chance to analyze their lives and what it means for them to live to the fullest. Once the bridge is built and the connections are made, discussions can take place which ultimately allow for the cultivation of ideas through collaborative efforts. Since there are many activity systems and backgrounds being brought together in one place there will be various viewpoints on what it means to live life to its fullest therefore allowing the reader to take the information provided and do with it as they may. Whether it be taking it heart, making a change, disregarding, or outright discredit the information, the process allows the reader insight as to what it means for them to live life to the fullest.  

            Blogs are meant to be a sound board for people who want to explore their own thoughts as well as others, and because of this they are often written in the plain style to connect readers and propose items of discussion. Collaborative efforts and the manifesting results which blogs offer do prompt some interesting thoughts or implications. More specifically why are we fascinated with how other people live their lives and what prompts us to use the internet to understand varying viewpoints?  Furthermore, are blogs an effective facet to allow us to explore who we are and what it means to live life to its fullest?
James G.

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