Response to “Why I blog”

In his article “Why I Blog” Andrew Sullivan compares being a blogger to acting as
a host at a dinner party and I agree with him. A blogger is someone who evokes
discussion about a particular topic and embraces feedback whether it’s
constructive or destructive and uses it to enhance their post. And a host of a
dinner party is someone who brings up open discussion about a topic and the
guest at the party add to the discussion by arguing against or for the point
mad by the host. Sullivan makes it clear that when someone brings up a
discussion it is only right that others have an ability to voice their opinion
whether good or bad when he states, “To blog is therefore to let go of your
writing in a way, to hold it at arm’s length, open it to scrutiny, allow it to
float in the ether for a while, and to let others, as Montaigne did, pivot you
toward relative truth.” But on the other hand these two settings differ when it
comes to the factor of miscommunications because in the online world of blogging
people are more likely to overlook things and take certain statements out of
context which can lead to miscommunications and arguments upon a particular
topic one may feel they have more expertise in then another. While at dinner
parties people are in real time, meaning they are face to face engaging in
physical communication where if something seems unclear or misunderstood the
person can respond immediately and surpass the whole waiting for a response.
But overall the idea of a blogger being in the same category as a dinner party
host is accurate because both are meant to create environments where people
feel they can discuss and communicate their views and opinions. And it’s supposed
to be a place where people can feel free to be passionate about something,
whether it’s seen as weird or normal because the people involved in the blog
share the same passion. Sullivan states, “He can provoke discussion or take a
position, even passionately, but he also must create an atmosphere in which
others want to participate.” In other words, a blogger and a dinner party host
are supposed to take a position in the discussion but not deter others from
being active participants because in a way the participation from others makes
the blog and party successful. Because the function of a blog is to be a discussion
and informative site and the purpose of a dinner party is to enjoy others
company and come together for great conversation it’s a no brainer that a
blogger and dinner party host share the same roles or at least a lot of their
roles overlap. So I guess now a dinner party host can be in a way considered a blogger
and a blogger can be considered a party host. Therefore, this goes to show that
the internet age has taken simple things such as hosting a dinner party and has
created the same atmosphere and scene just in a virtual way that includes the
same elements just revamped.

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20 comments

  1. lisak0

    I totally agree that in order to be a better blogger, one needs criticism, tips, notes, corrections, fans, and encouraging words. These are what builds bloggers to be become even better and better.
    “So I guess now a dinner party host can be in a way considered a blogger and a blogger can be considered a party host.” I love this statement you made because it is so easy to see this. Aside from just comparing dinner party hosts and bloggers, when reading Sullivan’s post, I also felt bloggers are like time travelers. They can go back to posts, look forward to what others will state, and stay in the present still feeling different emotions and writing their passions away. Bloggers can look back at others’ previous posts and learn and respond as well. Bloggers are like time travelers because the events they write about are so real. People could have had the same experience or can imagine about a post a blogger wrote.

    On your section of miscommunications, it is completely true. There are so many people behind the internet that states all their harsh opinions- just because they are not face to face. I’m sure almost all the critical and immature people online cannot state the same harsh comments in real life. This is why it takes a lot of courage for bloggers to blog about their passion because they never know what response they’ll receive. It can be positive one day and completely negative another. News reporters and journalists really don’t get hands on experience with this type of commentaries. Their stories get edited by editors and a series of upper-hand people, but they never really get immediate response. This is why I stand to love bloggers for gaining that extra courage to tell the world what they believe in, what they love, what they hate, etc.

    I truly love your response and do agree with it 100% because without a great blogger and dinner party host, fellow followers and guests will feel uncomfortable and bored. Great job!

  2. hillary601

    I agree with what you said in your post. I have seen some really good blogs where people engage and comment and I think that this is the purpose. I don’t see the purpose of private blogs because that would be like having a dinner party by yourself. I think that having an audience is great because you get to hear from other people that are passionate or opinionated about the topic of your blog. I also think that it is an honor to the blogger that they have people who want to share their idea with them and discuss the topics. There are some blogs that I have seen where the blogger asks questions or trivia about the subject. I really like this because it is kind of like playing a game online as one would play a game at a dinner party. It is important that the blogger takes the feedback regardless of if it is destructive or constructive. Something I have seen a lot though is when someone who doesn’t like the topic of the blog just adds slander and degrades the author. I always get upset when I see something like this because I feel like the person who is writing all this negative stuff doesn’t understand how hard it is to put yourself out there and post blogs often. In my opinion it is the same thing as if you are at a dinner party and one of your guests tells you that your food taste like dog poop in front of everyone, or say that the dinner party is boring and they’d rather be home. It is offensive and can decrease the courage that the blogger has. A blogger needs to be someone with a lot of courage and they need to be able to take criticism very well. I think that the comparison is great because of this.

  3. yadyayala105

    I agree with your statement as well! Being a blogger and dinner host are very much alike. You want to please your audience/guest and you receive feedback in both situations. Receiving feedback allows you as a host/blogger to improve your tactics so the next post/party is successful. Regular authors on the other hand do not really get to receive feedback like this from the normal reader. Although they do receive criticism from professionals they do not get to hear from the people who are actually reading the work to enjoy it. Bloggers have this upper hand because they get to receive insight on how the reader feels after reading a post. A problem with blogging is that you do not receive that face-to-face interaction like a host does. That may be a problem when interpreting the comments. Feedback is important but if you as a blogger interpret it the wrong way. I really agree about the point that bloggers are passionate about their work. I think with blogging you have to be passionate otherwise your really just writing an article that just states facts. Passion is what distinguishes good writers from great writers. What readers love about bloggers is not only are they informing the reader of something they life but also are passionate about the subject as well. Having the same passion as the blogger makes the reader feel more connected to the blogger compared to an author and a reader. I agree with everything you said. Good job girl!!!

  4. megansmurray

    Great post, I definitely agree! I do really feel that thinking of yourself as a dinner party host can make you a better blogger. While of course as a blogger you can ignore your readers, discourage comments, and continue to talk about only what you want to talk about… but as you said, “participation from others makes the blog and party successful.” Imagine a dinner party where the host just continued talking about whatever they wanted, and didn’t listen to anyone else? It would be a disaster!

    Another blogging and dinner party faux pas you pointed out that really spoke to me was that “it is only right that others have an ability to voice their opinion whether good or bad.” If the host allowed others to comment on his or her ideas but shot everyone down who made a point that did not agree, it would be a terrible dinner party! A dinner party needs a discussion, and refusing to look at any side but your own is not a discussion. It really comes down to this: that a blog and a dinner party are both a discussion where you want your guests to be pleased. Far too many bloggers are unaware of this, and it is obvious that those blogs don’t become as popular.

    All in all great post, you really helped to elaborate on Sullivan’s post. Also, great pictures! The picture of the dinner party at the end really brought your post together, and made it very easy to visualize the comparison of dinner party to blog.

  5. hg163

    At first glance, a blog and a dinner party (and by extension, a blogger and a dinner party host) have nothing in common, but I do agree that on further glance they are very similar. A host is supposed to entertain his or her guests by either having activities planned or by just having an atmosphere conducive to a social gathering. A blogger similarly must keep his or her guests entertained by creating posts conducive to banter among the readers. In either case, arguments are no rarity, although they may be more common in blogs and other online forums. Also in both cases the host and blogger have the benefit of receiving immediate feedback from the guests/readers as to how they are enjoying the party/blog and perhaps what may be done in order to improve them. This may be a reason as to why longer publications, such as newspaper articles, seem dull and monotonous today. A newspaper writer, for example, cannot receive immediate feedback from his or her readers and thus they rarely change their approach to articles. Now, they do get feedback, but it may take days or weeks to sort through all the snail mail/e-mail they receive and some may also get weeded out by the time it gets to the editor. Also, because bloggers are so connected to their audience, it almost seems as if they become friends with their regular readers and they begin to gain some sort of trust with the blogger with information they present, rightly or wrongly. At least that is what I have noticed with some of the blogs I visit.

  6. karencronin

    I love Sullivan’s analogy of blogger and dinner party host. A blog is to a blogger what a home is to a host. Blogger and host are opening up their personal spaces to let others in. As mentioned, both individuals offer topics of discussion, and what happens after that is up to the blog readers or the dinner party guests. Blogger and host both want their readers/guests to come back. So they need to make their platform/home inviting and receptive. They need to be flexible, and react appropriately to a variety of reactions/situations so that their readers/guests don’t get scared off. Neither wants to be alone!

    What makes the positions of blogger and host a little different is the real time factor. At a dinner party a guest typically would not blast their host for a particular opinion or comment they may have on something, it would be considered rude. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for blog readers. Some people seem to think they are anonymous because no one can see them face to face. This sense of anonymity allows them to freely blast their harsh and rude comments onto blogs. This happens in email and texting as well. But that is a whole other conversation!

  7. evanhuaru

    I agree with your post on how bloggers and dinner party hosts express their opinions and others can reciprocate in the same way. However, it’s different in the sense of how personal the message is in real life compared to the message online. At dinner parties messages are way more personal in the aspect of physical presence which makes it more meaningful than a blog post online. In return with a more personal message, there’s better feedback and a deeper connection to the topic. A physical presence compared to an internet presence causes less miscommunication due to the delivery of the message. Blog posts are personal in the sense of how they are written in the moment, or in the now. They are written in free form, with no one editing the writing, which is the essence of figure of speech or the matter of personal opinion. As a blogger, the experience of receiving various kinds of responses such as criticism or pleasant comments is what to be expected. The comments of the readers make bloggers better bloggers. Reading actual concerns or comments of readers leads to a better understanding of the topic. It’s a much broader view of opinions, where ideas that have never been considered can be brought up. You receive comments from people all over the world expressing opinions from different cultures. The last point I want to bring up is that some people express themselves differently on the internet compared to real life. Being anonymous on the internet means saying anything you want and no one will know who you are. This alleviates the pressure of social problems such as peer pressure. However, in real life conversations people who feel the pressure of these social problems inhibit what they actually want to say.

  8. briellebuis

    Although I agree to an extent that being a blogger is like being a host at a dinner party. I also disagree with this statement. I disagree because in my opinion being a blogger is much harder in the sense that you have to be able to capture readers attention much quicker than a host has to catch the attention of their guests. When someone is a guest at a dinner party they often make small talk with others who attend the party which allows the host to pop in and out of smaller conversations that each sub group makes while attending the party. Also, when at a party it would be rude to text or take a phone call, or surf the web simultaneously. When someone goes to a dinner party they know that they are going to be there for a few hours tops, therefore they will usually put aside any distractions in order to give 100% of their attention to the host and the party.
    A blogger in this sense is much different than a host of a party. This is because a blogger must be able to engage their audience immediately. If they don’t there is always another website or distraction that the reader can easily access. It is not like a party where a guest cannot leave, a reader on the internet is easily able to leave his/her computer. They could also become distracted by an advertisement, a social network like Facebook (which is most likely also open on a tab on their internet explorer) or by a source that is outside their computer.
    Sullivan does however raise a great point when he states, “The reason this open-source market of thinking and writing has such potential is that the always adjusting and evolving collective mind can rapidly filter out bad arguments and bad ideas.” Blogs, unlike many other forms of information act as an open forum. This allows for many people to bounce back ideas and opinions on a subject and create an open market of thinking. Like Sullivan states, this allows us to filter out bad ideas. Blogging therefore evokes discussion which was stated by many of our classmates.

  9. moyster60

    I would also say that being a dinner party host has many similarities as a blogger. Primarily groups want to make their guests interested in the topics being presented as well as create an environment that encourages responses.
    However, I believe that there are some small differences that separate these two groups as well. For example, dinner party hosts know exactly who their audience is. For the guests to be invited, I am assuming that they must have at least met once if not many times. This prior knowledge of the audience gives the hosts the liberty to choose who they want to invite the people of their choice to the dinner party to create the most pleasant experience. However, bloggers may have to interact with literally anyone who has a computer. The blogger has no idea who could be commenting and what different cultural or social ideologies they could have. On one hand this makes for great debate as the blogger can gain input from all different types of perspectives. On the other hand, these clashing opinions could potentially erupt into an all-out “flame war”. This would be the equivalent of a food/ fist -fight starting in your dinner party. This brings me to another point about dinner party attitudes versus attitudes on the internet. At dinner parties, there are certain boundaries or courtesy that people have instilled in them. One prime example is to be polite and gracious to the host and the other guests, even if there is disagreement. On the internet though there are few boundaries in conversation since there are no actual physical, face-to-face consequences. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see “internet trolling” on blogs, where any topic can be discussed.

  10. ktomiak25

    My response is going to seem very hypocritical in terms of the content and the actual action of posting it (but hey, it’s a required assignment so it is what it is). I understand your opinion and agree to an extent. Blogs are an excellent outlet for people from all over the world, and all different backgrounds to come together about a topic and discuss it. However, like another person pointed out, it is very much unlike a dinner party in the fact that guests would not want to debate a topic (isn’t the first rule of dinner parties to stay away from politics and anything that causes debates?). Personally, i find people that comment negative, or even criticizing words on a blog post to be annoying. I believe a blog should be used as an outlet for whatever the blogger desires- but anyone reading it has the option to stop reading and leave the website if they see something they do not like or do not necessarily agree with. If a fact is wrong on the website, a quick email or private message will suffice. I would not enjoy running a blog if there were debates going on in the comment section about my content, but that is just my opinion. I feel there is no need to comment if you are in opposition to the post (like I said, this is somewhat hypocritical because I must post my thoughts regardless…). Another commenter brought up that anonymity is a bad idea for commenting on the internet and I 100% agree. Being able to comment negative words while seemingly mysterious is where much of the internet bullying comes from- even if its not to a child, writing mean things on someone’s blog can be hurtful.

  11. wilschiu

    While I do agree that in some situations a blogger can be compared to a dinner host, there are also cases where this does not necessarily apply. It is not always the purpose of a blog to generate discussion among the audience or even with the blogger themselves. While yes, in Sullivan’s case, the blog to dinner-host analogy can be made, but that is a according to a very generalized view on blogs. There are many different types of blogs out there and even the definition of what-makes-a-blog can vary greatly. There are blogs that function more as online diaries or as progress logs, these types of blogs focus more on the blogger rather than the subject. As a result, the spotlight is fixed on the blogger and the ability to generate discussion among readers is less vital.
    Regarding feedback, embracing criticism can greatly improve your blog, and bring in a larger audience. You can learn a lot from comments and suggestions on how to appeal to your readers and keep them coming back. However, it is also possible for this feedback to negatively impact the quality of your blog. For example, if I ran a personal blog and I posted an opinion that received criticism because it offended my readers, I might stray away from controversial subjects from now on because I derive my validation from others and I’m afraid of losing readers. If I started censoring my posts in an effort to retain followers, I might even ironically lose other followers that originally came to my blog because they appreciated my uncensored and bold opinions. It’s impossible to please everybody, so don’t. I’m not saying that hey guys lets totally ignore all the feedback we are given, I’m just saying it’s important to run the blog instead of letting the blog run you.

  12. mjdenis38

    I would have to agree that bloggers can be like dinner party hosts. I’d consider vistors to the blog to be guests, just as one would have at their dinner party. The goal is start a discussion and incite a variety of opinions, to keep the discussion going. It’s not the objective to necessarily argue with your guests, (or in the case of a blog, readers) but rather to have a lively debate with cogent ideas and expressions. Andrew Sullivan’s blog is a perfect example, as he normally covers political issues. Blogs can also just be progress timelines and therefore could not be analogous to a dinner party. Miscommunication happens more often on the internet because we don’t have that one-on-one contact and therefore take emotional statements such as sarcasm out of context. Blogs also differ from a dinner party in the way our opinions are expressed, as the comments can be harsher and more negative. Again, it is because we don’t know who the person making the comment on the blog is, while we do in the dinner party conversation. As a newspaper columnist, I often find the posts on my work to be harsher than when I am discussing them in person with somebody. But criticism is good for improving one’s writing so they can better express their opinions. Again, as a columnist, I find that constructive criticism is important for developing my thoughts and ideas for the future. Both the blog and the dinner party are forums for discussions that invoke both information and criticism, and it’s really great analogy to make. Great job on your response!

  13. tedrihn

    As I was reading your post I followed along very well with what you were saying. I understood pretty much exactly where you were coming from and I respect your opinions. However, I do not agree that a blog is meant to be a tool used to converse with others virtually about topics. Although that can be what a blog is used for I feel as though a blog is and should be used for whatever the blogger wants. The function of a blog is not necessarily as you say, “a discussion and informative site.” A blog can be anything from just photos and clips of your favorite bands, to only written sentences about nothing at all. For example, one can have a blog that is merely poems that have no clear logic to them, but they just make sense and flow in a certain way such that they fit into the parameters to which the blogger has defined. The posts on those blogs are there just for the followers enjoyment, and negative comments are pointless then.

    If you think about it like this then it is the readers who change instead of the blogger and the content of the material. Thus allowing for a much more friendly online environment where we can enjoy the internet instead of spending hours bickering with some anonymous internet user about the content on my blog.
    Overall I agree that a blogger is very much like a dinner party host in the fact that both want they’re “guests” to be happy with the content to which they are either talking about or viewing. However, at the party the host has a responsibility to care for his subjects while the blogger does not share that responsibility, because the blog does not go away along with the followers. The followers may all leave but the blog will remain and continue to function.

  14. jordannao

    It’s extremely interesting how a simple comparison of a “dinner host” can transform and give a good definition of a blogger. In today’s generation its very easy to lose the meaning of a word that is constantly changing, especially when new platforms of blogs are coming out. Blogs such as Pinterest, Foodgawker & Tumblr have changed the meaning of blogging into a pic blogging platform and that is why the article “Why I blog” by Andrew Sullivan is so important to read in order to understand what exactly does a blogger do.
    A great point that is brought up in the article is the lost of communication and the misunderstanding of information when there is a change of setting such as online (blogger) vs. face-to-face (party host). I believe that even though Sullivan did a great connection between both the blogger and the party host, there are many times where they are both not the same. Being a blogger allows one to be expressive and write freely without worrying about what other is thinking. Readers on the other hand can also be expressive and leave comments about exactly how they feel and don’t feel about what they just read, without been judged. A party host on the other hand has to be careful with what he or she says because the guests can get offended. In addition, a party host and its guests are sometimes are more shy then a blogger because they are afraid to be judged and afraid to say things. On the other hand, guests on a blog are not shy and truly express their feelings towards what they just read and I think that is the whole idea of a having a blog; the ability to write freely and respond freely, something that would definitely not happen at a dinner party.

  15. dmhgs

    I have to disagree with the idea that a blogger is similar to a dinner host where the blogger must create an atmosphere where others would want to participate. While a blogger is indeed similar to a dinner host I don’t feel the the blogger has to create this type of atmosphere or even accept praise or criticism on their writing. It is indeed one way to go about blogging but it is not absolute in it’s premise.

    A blogger can write about whatever he or she wants and it doesn’t have to limited to the atmosphere that his followers want nor expect. The blogger can shut out all input that his readers give, and still be a good and/or well known blogger. Towards the end of his article Sullivan writes,

    “It is, in many ways, writing out loud.
    You end up writing about yourself, since you are a relatively fixed point in this constant interaction with the ideas and facts of the exterior world. And in this sense, the historic form closest to blogs is the diary.”
    This is the way that I see a blog, a public diary. This particular quote from the texted says that you wind up writing about yourself which is fine for a blog or a diary but no one likes a dinner host that only talks about themselves. In this same aspect there are certain things you would or wouldn’t say at a dinner party depending on the people that are there and there’s no rule book on what to and what not to say for that specific set of guests, you just know. A blog while in some cases can be similar to this, it’s actually the complete opposite. You are expressing something intimate about yourself on this blog for everyone to see and you’re not worried about the people who might not like it. You just blog to blog and gain a certain audience, maybe your target audience, and everyone else doesn’t matter. At a dinner party everyone matters. And so while there are definitely similarities between blogging and being a dinner host there are definitely a completely different set of rules for each one.

  16. mlew210

    I think that a blogger is like a dinner host in that they must create the best atmosphere possible for their guests to converse. No one wants to go to a blog that leaves little to no room for discussion. A host and blogger both have to introduce a topic of discussion that many people can partake in, and I feel like that is a really strong point that Sullivan brings up. To become a better writer, you have to take in the criticism of others to improve your own writing. If a blogger ignored every comment and did what he/she thought was best, nothing about their writing would change. No progress would be made, and eventually the entire blog would die out. It is very similar to a dinner party host. If at every dinner party, the host only wanted to talk about football with a group of people who really enjoyed soccer instead, I doubt that group of people would be inclined to go to another party where all the host talks about is football. That doesn’t mean a blogger shouldn’t say what is on their mind. Writers should have the freedom to write whatever interests them, but if they want to spur a conversation over the internet, sacrifices should be made on both ends. A blogger should be willing to adjust their content for the right audience, and the readers should have enough restraint to properly hold a conversation in the comments section. There really is no social etiquette over the internet, and that can cause some serious problems when people think they can say whatever they want without getting in trouble. Hopefully, there are not too many blogs that have to deal with this problem.

  17. acalloway16

    I agree that blogging has similarities to that of hosting a dinner party, but I think more so when it comes to blogging in search of viewers and subscribers. One can blog with the sole intent of doing it for themselves, so that comparison doesn’t hold as true anymore. For some, social media spaces such as WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, etc… are just places to allow self-expression and and an opportunity to clear space in their heads. A place to vent, ramble, and drone on about whatever it is that’s on their mind. There really isn’t a need to open up for discussion and cater to the interests of others because one isn’t looking for an audience. Scrutinization doesn’t factor in because personal bloggers aren’t looking to be acknowledged in this cyber role, so outside opinions are either absent or taking with a grain of salt.

    But as I said before, when thinking about bloggers who wish for a mass audience, your comparison is spot on. In those cases, one’s blog becomes their platform–their means of advertising themselves. To do so successfully and effectively, it’s necessary to go down a checklist to make sure you have all the ingredients. Like hosting a party, if one expects people to rave about their blog and ultimately return, one has to make sure that their audience is properly catered to. In a way, one’s blog isn’t just their own, but their viewers space as well because the blogger isn’t writing for just themselves any more. Each post is crafted around what they wish to hear from a particular blogger and it has to be delivered in a unique way that makes them stand out. Each move becomes a power play in the quest of being liked and shared amongst cyber friends.

    So going back to what you wrote in your post, the roles of a blogger and dinner host do overlap, but it depends on the intent of said blogger.

  18. mlew210

    This topic is on my mind a LOT. It’s something I find all the time when I go to sites like IGN and PCGamer. People leave rude and unnecessary comments with no purpose other than to put someone else down. I find the psychological aspect behind this to be fascinating. What about anonymity gives people courage? You said that it had to do with the fact that they are able to hide behind a computer screen, but I think it has to do with something much bigger. In high school, I took a class on genocides that have happened in recent history. The teacher talked about the psychology behind killing, and how easy it is for humans to become desensitized. The one genocide I found most interesting was the Rwandan genocide. I even read a book about how the killers were able to slaughter their own neighbors. It boiled down to reducing their kills to animals. Hutus weren’t killing people; they were killing Tutsis, and Tutsis were nothing more than pigs for slaughter. I find it similar to being online in that we don’t see the people on the other side of the monitor. We talk to nothing more than a name on the screen. We insult nothing more than a name on the screen. Humans have this incredible capacity for cruelty, and it is seen in something as terrible as genocide, but also on something as innocent as the internet. I agree that being anonymous gives people the courage to do things they normally wouldn’t do, but I also think there is another component to it that enables people to say things they would never say up front to live human being.

  19. moegor94

    I think that the comparison between writing a blog and hosting a dinner party is interesting in many ways but it is not always the best description. Yes, bloggers do bring up topics and ideas that their readers do discuss like a party host but I feel like the motive of the blogger and the motive of the party host are very different and that difference, in the end, puts the two in completely different categories. A dinner party host brings up topics mainly in an attempt to entertain and appease her guest. On the other hand, I feel as though most bloggers are trying to please themselves first with their blogs and their readers second. I feel like bloggers use blogs as a form of expression and release, they want to get their ideas and thoughts out there so they don’t just have them running around in their heads. Their topics are more an emotional cleanse than something designed to entertain their readers, that aspect comes second. At a dinner party, a host, or a good host, would not bring up a topic that she believes would upset any of her guests, which could potentially ruin the party. A blogger isn’t worried about something like that. A blogger, most of the time, will post whatever they feel they need to talk about, even if it is guaranteed to upset ninety percent of the blogs readers, this is because the blog is an outlet for the writer before it is a discussion page for the readers.

  20. gisellehernandez412

    I really liked that you focused on Sullivan’s comparison of a dinner party host to a blogger. I’m pretty knew to the Blogosphere and never really had a real appreciation for it. After reading Sullivan’s post, “Why I Blog,” I developed a better understanding and appreciation of blogging. Your response was much like my own–I loved the idea of the dinner party host because it really put the blogging world in perspective for me! Both the blogger and the dinner party host are responsible for bringing up ideas, topics, or even stories that will entertain their guests or readers. In each case, participants (i.e. guests and readers) are placed in a setting where their thoughts and responses are encouraged and welcomed–creating such an environment lies in the hands of the party host and the blogger, as Sullivan explained and you elaborated on.
    I agree with you that the two conversational settings are different in terms of how things are communicated–face to face interaction is definitely more personal and convenient when looking for clear, direct, and immediate answers and responses. However, Sullivan did speak of the hyperlink which benefits those who need references to back up their points or to make them more clear. At a dinner party, people who engage in conversation may make reference to things to strengthen their stances but the hyperlink is more legitimate and trustworthy–not to say that people aren’t, but the hyperlink takes you to the referenced source immediately, thus making the communication of one’s point easier to comprehend. You’re right that conversation flows faster in real time and that this could enhance comprehension but one could also argue that blog comments could provide more immediate and factual support than face to face interaction. I really liked your post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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