May 16, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Discussion

"Stacey A" has a weblog, the "College Writing II Course Management Blog", and raises some interesting points about audience.

I can't help but yet again feel pinned between Bernstein and Blood .... Blood says to write for yourself. Bernstein more or less says I need to be interesting, constructing rhetorical and social situations by creating effective links. If I knew I had an audience, I suspect I would spend more time creating effective links, for the audience is the only reason to add links. Do I need the links to make things interesting, therefore gaining an audience as a result?

Adrian Miles has his own issues with audience:

Sheesh, my list of things I'd do differently has caused a minor flurry in some academic blog circles. The major and most interesting commentary seems to be from Liz's original comments. Sometimes I think the ivory tower thing gets a bit much.

In my experience, it's always a mistake for any writer to worry too much about having a big audience. You are always writing, in the end, for yourself; whose opinion matters more? But Blood is too timid about the rest of the audience; Adrian's note mattered because everyone in the field read it, and thought about it. (Also: notice that Adrian's main project of late has been to get DAC insiders to read the papers? How many people, like me, checked the papers of all their favorite recent PhDs they know to see whether Jill was right? Clever! Multivalence is not a vice.)