I find it comical that I was born right near the delivery date of this nonsensical, digitally altered world. Why me? Why not, where everything was simply paper and ink? Now I’m in a class where understanding digital rhetoric is crucial to progression. And I’m not going to hide it; although hearing the definition of my peers helped facilitate my troubles, it did not completely cure them.
OK. After sitting down and analyzing the readings, the class discussions we’ve had, and a couple two-minute videos, I’ve sort of gotten it down. Rhetoric… the art of persuasion. Ok. Digital rhetoric, but digitally?
Lanham provided the scaffolding for the term in 1989. Since then, we’ve seen many scholars place their own analysis on what it all signals at. Considering the terms expansiveness, I still feel a clear-cut definition is lacking. Which would explain why my brain hurts so much.
Eyman expands on it, by quoting other scholars thoughts. When Eyman introduced Doug Brent’s “Rhetorics of the Web” (1997), I think it helped facilitate my understanding.
”although hypertext has been used for information retrieval for some time, argument in hypertext is largely a new rhetorical function” (n.p.)
I could be wrong, but using this as an example, hypertext is a way an author persuades you. We’ve all gotten lost in a never-ending web of digging through the world wide web. For example, an opinion post hyperlinks another article that goes into depth into one of the topics they’re discussing. What does that page bring you too? You guessed it—more links to click on. More pictures, more text, and more variables on a screen will help you get to the author’s designated destination. You cared, and we know that because you clicked. Ha, they got you digitally.
What becomes even more frustrating is that the definition will have two progression stories. The current definition may become more convoluted, causing more strain on the brain. Or it will be thrown into the bin of the past. Whichever path it chooses, we will continue to study its importance. Oh, modernity!