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tagging as rhetoric or literacy?

February 16, 2010

A professor of writing and technology recently posted a comment on another list about the difficulties of getting students to appreciate tagging. She mentioned that she tried to get them to think about tagging in rhetorical terms – understanding the needs of the audience in particular rhetorical contexts, etc. It makes me think about whether we are talking about tagging as a form of literacy or as a rhetorical tool for achieving a particular response?


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  1. Joel Bloch permalink

    I can’t repost because there is an agreement to not share postings. What she means is that she tried to explain tagging as a rhetorical act, referring back to Aristotle, about how to consider the needs of your audience, establish your own ethos, the concept of making an appropriate response at the appropriate point (kairos) etc. The point I think she was trying to make is that tagging is an act of persuasion that can be seen in the same way that other rhetorical acts. Her students were not responding well to having to tag what they had found and she was trying to have them see tagging in the same way they had been discussing other aspects of rhetoric. Thus tagging can be seen as a tool or what rhetoricians might call a trope for connecting with an audience in a particular context at a particular time.

  2. Vance Stevens permalink

    Can you point us to the original post? I’m having trouble grasping what she means from your brief recap, but it seems if a rhetorical tool is employed to achieve a particular response, then this would by definition be a form of literacy, or means by which we communicate effectively and appropriately utilizing the rhetorical, critical, functional etc skills/tools at our disposal.

  3. Joel Bloch permalink

    Nina:<br><br>Rhetoric asks the questions why did you tag a certain piece for a particularly context or community. What was your purpose in tagging a particular piece? But also it looks at your own role in the learning community for whom you are tagging? How does tagging connect to you to this community. In the traditional view, you would have to publish something or give a conference presentation, all mediated by gatekeepers. In the connectivist paradigm, the process is open – you can contribute what you want without the judgment or blessing of the gatekeepers. What are the differences between these two paradigms both on how knowledge is created and how the individual identity is created.<br>I think the teacher primarily wanted to explain the purpose of tagging to a group who didn’t find it particularly interesting in the terms they were discussing in other aspects of the course.

  4. Nina Liakos permalink

    I am way over my head here. Carry on!

  5. Vanessa Vaile permalink

    I think of as a way to find sites again (memory not speaking as often or as clearly as I’d like) and more recently to create resource "links pages" (urls) with rss feeds. A combination database and communication tool.

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