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In Networked Media, Networked Rhetorics, Damien Pfister explores communicative practices in networked media environments, analyzing, in particular, how the blogosphere has changed the conduct and coverage of public debate. Pfister shows how the late modern imaginary was susceptible to “deliberation traps” related to invention, emotion, and expertise, and how bloggers have played a role in helping contemporary public deliberation evade these traps. Three case studies at the heart of Networked Media, Networked Rhetorics show how new intermediaries, including bloggers, generate publicity, solidarity, and translation in the networked public sphere. Bloggers “flooding the zone” in the wake of Trent Lott’s controversial toast to Strom Thurmond in 2002 demonstrated their ability to invent and circulate novel arguments; the pre-2003 invasion reports from the “Baghdad blogger” illustrated how solidarity is built through affective connections; and the science blog RealClimate continues to serve as a rapid-response site for the translation of expert claims for public audiences. Networked Media, Networked Rhetorics concludes with a bold outline for rhetorical studies after the internet.

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