Thursday, February 26, 2004
MarkBernstein.org
 
choose your style: neoclassical | blue | modern | nouveau

The Rhetoric of Diet Blogs

Diane Greco makes an important observation (Feb 25: no permalink) about the nature of blogging.

By and large, the blogs tell success stories. They have to -- blogging as a literary form supports the idea of eventual success. When there's bad news from the bathroom scale, the open-endedness of blogging makes it possible to cast the gain as just a temporary setback, not a failure. Diet blogging recasts or reimagines the yo-yo effects of a diet as a surface, a space, a site for potentially endless re-inscription. Dieting as Etch-a-Sketch, very postmodern.
Another point about the rhetoric of diet blogs. When their weight changes, either up or down, most diet bloggers will see the change as something to be explained, and will search for reasons in their behavior. There is something quasi-religious about this.

This tells you more about the nature of weblogs as a creative medium than you'll find in a dozen newspaper stories. And Greco's keen observation on the narrativity of weblogs is obviously a key to understanding why weblogs are what they are -- and I don't believe this specific point appears anywhere in the major introductions to weblogs.