Situating the public social actions of blog posts

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This paper responds to Carolyn Miller and Dawn Shepherd&#8217;s proposal (2004) that the personal blog acts upon an exigence of self-cultivation and validation. I turn to situational rhetoric (Bitzer 1968; 1980) to further contextualize bloggers&#8217; motives and illustrate how the blog&#8217;s presentation of self is constituted rhetorically. Engaging Michael Warner&#8217;s theory of publics (2002) and Anne Freadman&#8217;s concept of uptake (2002), I argue that bloggers who write public posts about a public event, <i>Canada Reads</i>, participate in two situations&#8212;the blog and the event&#8212;and their resulting social actions accommodate exigencies belonging to both. By directing attention to the post, we glimpse the intentionality of each mediated self, seen in the varying publics engaged, situations defined, interpretants selected, and exigencies affected.


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