Expanding on my last post on Jill Walker Rettberg’s Blogging, I found her views on printed precedents of blogs extremely interesting. As pointed out by our professor, “Early print was a dialogue between writers as they wrote in response to each other. Modern print is less so, with the media controlling feedback from readers, and circulation requiring money and resources. But blogs makes everyone a publisher. Publishing changes shape the style and tone of the work to suit the targeted audience, something that changes when you distribute media online.” (Source.)
But these publishers have probably also taken into consideration that with more access comes more possibility, especially financially. Most prominent of these new opportunities, perhaps, is the ability to catch and adjust errors or missteps. Although not being able to control who reads will certainly change the way we write. Nothing is ever deleted once it’s put online, and striving for the perfect image or message the first time around is a precedent print has set for the screen. Although some would argue that print was still more accurate, as they were forced to be more organized (table of contents, page numbers, etc).
As for other changes happening during the transition from paper to online, the message must be even clearer and easier to understand. While skills in literacy are evolving, these are audiences from different regions, cultures, each with their own expectations and views. Also, with other resources so accessible – just a click away – the authors must be more amusing, more to the point, more quick to catch the attention of their readers as compared to when those individuals were purchasing a paper and those articles were the only information available. However, “The Parable of the Sower proposes that you should spread your message as broadly as possible and accept that not everyone will understand or be willing to engage with your ideas” (40). So perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to adhere to societal expectations in mass media.
Looking more closely at the idea of print as dialogue, the most obvious example is the act of sending letters to the editor. But in today’s world, that dialogue happens in the comments. Whether it be positive or negative, something as simple as an observation or feedback, the discussions happening now are even more lively and accessible than before. As to the aspects of the dialogue before now, and how else it occurred, it was certainly not so painless. There were so many rules and regulations, especially when it came to broadcast radio and television stations. Plato stressed its importance, however, even going so far as to lament against public speaking and writing when dialogue was so vital. Also, “Einsenstein argues that print augments the amplification and reinforcement of ideas” (44).
Now, social networking is our main source of main communication. While this certainly has drawbacks, there are so many benefits, as well. The world is always changing, and we have no choice but to change with it.