Blogging Within the Wrestling Community

Abstract

In the wrestling community online, blogs are an important way to access information to keep the community involved and updated. Participants and observers use the blogs for many reasons like viewing results and posting rankings as well as obtaining information on techniques and training. Some of the information posted can be biased towards an individual or team which in turn can cause tension and disagreement within the community. Through the use of rhetorical language, bloggers emphasize their opinions when discussing some of the tension and disagreement within the community.

Reasons and Uses for Blogs

The use of blogs on websites has many advantages for participants and observers in the wrestling community. Many use the blogs as a way to find out results of tournaments or team dual meets. Reading through the blogs is a fast and efficient way to find the results of a competition the person observing is not physically watching. Also, the blogs can be viewed to discover information about dates and locations of future competition. Individuals can use the blogs to post and read rankings that are posted by others in the community. Participants on the blogs post rankings to add their opinion and compare them to others posting their own. Many bloggers can add their comments about how they agree or disagree with the information posted. The various ways bloggers are able to interact allows each to create their own identity. This Self Identity Creation of participants in the wrestling community is visible in the information they choose to post and their individually unique rhetorical uses of writing.

Biased Participants

In their article Blogging as a Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog, Carolyn Miller and Dawn Shepherd summarize that social control, along with relationship development, are two primary motives of writers of blogs. They state, "Relationship development and social control are primarily external, directed outward, functions [of blogs] that use self-disclosure to build connections with others or to manipulate their opinions." This is evident when observing the conversations between bloggers displaying tensions and disagreement. It may be advantageous to point out that a lot of bloggers may be biased toward one school or individual. Many bloggers on a website will post things about an individual or team that they are biased towards. For example, parents may post a set of rankings placing their son in a higher position than other rankings placed that same individual. Bloggers can also demonstrate bias based on favoritism alone. For example, one blogger demonstrated favoritism by defending a few incoming college freshmen by placing them high in the rankings. Many bloggers disagreed based on the lack of experience these individuals have. When talking about the incoming freshman, blogger CTMopar stated:

“Talented YES…Unproven NO…Health has been a concern for some but it's not like the old days where these wrestlers were thrown to the wolves…It may be the opposite in some regards!!!”

This blogger states that freshman coming into college wrestling can hang out with the more experienced guys, and that it is not like it used to be where there was a large gap between the experience level of college wrestlers and incoming freshmen. Another blogger, Divided42, counters this argument by stating:

“Wait how are Hunter Stieber, Garcia, and Campolattano proven again? We must have different ideas of being proven because to me I/ see 0 matches wrestled in college and call them unproven.”

This blogger counters the argument by stating that a wrestler who has not yet participated in a match at the collegiate level cannot be considered proven. This argument is an example how many people interpret their own rankings and post them on the blogs for others to agree or disagree with. Also, a blogger may be biased towards a whole team and therefore have the individuals on that team placed in higher positions than other rankings place them. This causes tension and disagreement within the community. The uses of biased opinion toward individuals on a certain team is demonstrated when a blogger named Iowa_Hawkeye posted rankings that placed all the wrestlers on the University of Iowa wrestling team in higher positions than wrestler from all other schools.

Rhetorical Language in Writing

When discussing these tensions and disagreements that take place in the blogs, it is important to point out the language used by individuals participating in the community. Participants in the wrestling community use rhetoric in their writing when posting on the blogs. The choice of words and the tone which the participants use demonstrates competition in their writing. While supporting a certain wrestler, one blogger comments on a post:

“ Yes, it is true that Taylor is moving up to 165, but for the random idiot that is claiming Dake is ducking Taylor, I actually wouldn’t be shocked if they are both at 165 but right now the plan for Dake is 157.”

The way this individual comments on a post demonstrates a competitive tone in their writing. This person is putting another participant down by making their claim sound outlandish, meanwhile supporting their own claim. Using rhetoric in writing on blogs is important for pursauding others to believe a certain opinion.

Conclusion

Writers who participate on blogs and forums use rhetoric in their writing to back up their opinions or arguments all the time. When discussing the bloggers in the wrestling community, individuals use a competitive tone rhetorically in their writing as evidence to back up posts on rankings or anticipated match ups for the wrestling season. Tension can occur when discussing the rankings of individuals or teams, especially when placing incoming freshmen into the rankings. These blogs can be misleading or inaccurate if a blogger is biased towards a certain wrestler or team. Overall, there are many ways to discover arguments and tensions within an online community and the writers within the community use rhetoric in their writing to persuade others.

References

  1. InterMat Wrestling. Web. 05 Dec. 2011. <http://intermatwrestle.com/>.
  2. The Breakup 2.0, pg 167, Ilana Gershon
  3. Miller, Carolyn and Dawn Shepherd. “Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog.” Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community and the Culture of Weblogs. Laura Gurak, et al, Eads. Web. 7 September 2011. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/blogging_as_social_action.html