Suggested Reading List for Online Writing

The harsh winter here in the Northeast continued Wednesday night with the latest snowstorm forcing the cancellation of my "Writing for Online Media" class.  When I was developing the syllabus for the course, I contemplated what books could serve as appropriate texts.  I settled on one required book -- Blogging by Jill Walker Rettberg, part of the Polity Press "Digital Media and Society Series."  (Other books in the series look at YouTube, Digital Media Ethics, Hacking, Mobile Communication, Digital War Reporting, and other New Media topics.)  Rettberg's tome is both scholarly and accessible, looking at the phenomenon of blogging from historical, cultural, theoretical, and critical perspectives.

I also included a list of suggested, but not required, readings.  Here's the list:

Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg -- Another excellent text, this comprehensive look at the broad scope of blogging, from its history to its impact in various fields, is an eye-opener, full of stimulating ideas.

Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World's Top Bloggers by Michael A. Banks -- While I would have liked to see some interviews with creators of some other top blogs not included here, the ones that are part of the book are interesting and worth the read.  Here you'll find chats with the bloggers of PostSecret, Engadget, Ars Technica, Gizmodo, and many others.

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by Arianna Huffington and the Editors of the Huffington Post -- If you're looking for a blogging guide, it's tough to beat one written by one of the most popular and commercially successful blogs out there.  Even if you don't agree with the political slant of the site, this book has some very valuable practical advice for anyone who maintains a blog or is thinking of starting one.

Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World by Bob Walsh -- The author provides an easy-to-read examination of how blogging has impacted politics, pop culture, business, and other aspects of society.

The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog by Rebecca Blood -- This book is a bit dated, but it's one of the pioneering looks at the emerging online journalism trend with some good information that still holds up.

Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print by Jay David Bolter -- This academic study of the history of print and its role in the digital age is an important work in the field of communication.

Let me know if there are any other books on the subject that you think might be useful.

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