Blogging as a literary form
Saturday, November 28, 2015 by Dave Winer

What if in the future we thought of blogging as a literary form?

  • If we taught courses in public writing on blogs? 
  • Good use of links.
  • Building community.
  • Different voices. Active vs passive.
  • Style.
  • What if we had blog writer's retreats?
  • If we studied the kinds of tools that work best?
  • Connections with technology? (I would totally benefit from that.)
  • What if literary writing, like news writing, is going to be captured in silos like Facebook? Is this inevitable? A desirable outcome?

I was thinking -- we have writers retreats for people who write plays, for poets, maybe song writers? Is online writing a dead-end (I don't think so) or will it be supported by traditions developed for other kinds of writing?

  • We do include several of these things in courses at Indiana University South Bend. There is a track in the Master of Liberal Studies program that has a focus on the writing people do as part of active citizenship, and writing for the web is a vital part of that work. In general, though, I believe that U.S. schools do not teach active citizenship beyond, perhaps, voting, and certainly do not teach in a focused way the particular writing skills successful active citizenship requires. Nor the social organizing skills, either, for that matter. Our schools teach, or fail to teach, the skills of having a private life in the grassy fields and silo spaces that are marked out for us, I'd say. Much more is needed. Which reminds me, I have been meaning to get back to blogging.

    • Further: I'm trying to get some op-ed writing courses set up here for people who ordinarily don't write those. That kind of piece can have a real reach, too, in a community, and can spark conversations that can continue online and in community groups. The Web-like social web that builds on the web of texts and the webs of knowledge and ideas in our heads and in our conversations....