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Prompting Discussion

We are accustom to a society where we can tweet at our favorite online personalities, post comments on their videos or blogs, and get a response in a reasonable amount of time.  This type of communication is far beyond what anyone could have imagined when the written language first became popular.  The development of communication from oral to written is briefly touch on in Jill Walker Rettberg book Blogging.  Socrates is refereed to for his position for having been very much been against a written language.  One of the arguments that Plato wrote was about how a written work cannot defend its statements.  But, as technology evolves bloggers have been able to find more ways to connect to their followers.  The book touches on many forms of digital media and I will present how bloggers, both through traditional text and video prompt discussion.

A common theme I see bloggers do to create discussions on their blog is for them to prompt a question.  Generally at the end of a post the blogger asks the reader a question, by doing this they stimulate a discussion on their post as well as give readers a direction for their comment.  Blogger and youtuber, Elle Fowler does this in her blog.  She wrote a post about her goal of the week, asked if her readers accomplished their goal, and then readers comment on the post either answering the question or making statements about her post.  To go even further many bloggers try to respond to comments made on their post in order to stimulate discussions.   Priss & Vinegar does a great job at comment back on her posts.  By commenting back to people the blogger is able to go past their post and connect more intimately with their readers.


Casey Ho has some topic driven posts on Blogilates.  Her workout videos have become quite popular and there is even a community based on her fitness blog and members are called popsters.  This blog is a good example how posts can create discussion between users.  In the example images I am using Casey asked the popsters “Why did you start working out,” which is a way for her to control what the discussion will be about as well as given readers a reason to post a comment.

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My next example is not a blog per se but I felt the need to share how this channel connects with its viewers.  Rettbergs definition of a blog is a “frequently updated website consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first”.  So according to this definition a YouTube channel is not much different than a text blog, youtubers simply produce their content through video.  Also some youtubers even have a written blog on the side because it can be easier to post more content more often.

A very interesting way that content producers connect with the people that watch their videos is Sourcefed.  Sourcefed uploads a few 3-5 minute videos a day about current events and then at the end of their video they ask their viewers to answer a question that relates to the topic of the video.  Then on the weekend they post a video called Comment Commentary where they go through the comments and pick out their favorite comments.  This is something different that I haven’t seen done by other content producers.  It shows how the producers realized how important the relationship is between subscribers and the content producers.

With these examples we see that a post simply acts as a prompt for discussion.  The topic of the post then inspires its readers to form their own opinions and post comments.  Those comments are then expanded on and can be commented on by the writer of the post creating a dialog, or by other readers as well.