Weblog Worlds and Constructions of Effective and Powerful Writing: Cross with Care, and Only Where Signs Permit

Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Interest in the extent to which texts (and the larger practices in which they are embedded) can and do cross sites is by now quite well established within literacy studies. This is particularly true in relation to schooling, where a raft of concerns ranging from issues of equity to the current preoccupation with student (dis)engagement in classroom learning, have focused on the extent to which it is possible and proper to try to port elements of out of school cultures across to classroom learning in pursuit of expansive educational purposes and ends. This chapter explores a single characteristically contemporary ‘moment’ in this ongoing narrative. It brings together the pedagogical aim of helping students become effective and powerful writers with the latest classroom appropriation from online environments – namely, the weblog. We begin with a brief overview of the emergence of weblogging as a cultural practice that has attained global proportions during the past five years. We next consider a thesis about power dynamics in the ‘blogosphere’ and how these dynamics are associated with different forms of blogging and varying constructions of effective and powerful writing. Three exemplars of highly effective and influential blogging that reflect our range of forms of blogging are briefly described and from these we derive some key features of effective/powerful blogging as practiced by ‘experts’. The chapter concludes with a consideration of school blogging at an early stage in its evolution and considers the prospects of expert-like effective blogging ‘crossing’ to school practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTravel Notes from the New Literacy Studies
Subtitle of host publicationInstances of Practice
PublisherChannel View Publications
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781853598630
ISBN (Print)9781853598616
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


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