Blogging and Twitter

Writing on the web has lead to a new forum for personal expression that resembles a journal or diary. There is a significant difference however between blog and journal writing – the author is writing for the various audiences who may encounter their personal page, making their private thoughts public. The nature of sites like blogs and twitter have created a personality-based style of writing distinctive to the author’s individual style. The author must still use audience analysis in writing depending on who will be viewing their page.

However, blogs and twitter both introduce a new element to online rhetoric that influences the writing- the ability for the audience to respond. The communication channels opened up by the author-to-audience interactive relationship helps strengthen social ties. The author-to-audience relationship also effects audience analysis. For example, an author will shape the content of the writing when taking into consideration their intended audience and expected feedback. Conversations through websites such as these lead to discussion threads which resemble original rhetorical forums similar to those in the Greek tradition. Authors today must use the rhetorical idea of kairos to “assess their audience and adapt their tone and technique to best get their point across” (Thompson). The style of blogs and twitter sites helps to promote electronic rhetoric and maintain relationships through writing on the web.


  • Farrell, Robert. (2002). Summarizing Electronic Discourse. International Journal of Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management, 11, 23-38 (2002).
  • Thompson, Clive. (2009). Clive Thompson on the New Literacy. Wired Magazine, 17(9).