Pascual, Daniel: “What is there within a blog? Generic relationships in travel blog posts and comments”
Immediacy and accessibility characterize the use of the net when retrieving information and interacting with other users. Interactions have largely evolved thanks to digital genres, which allow for dialogical and bilateral relationships in the web that traditional printed genres could not ensure. In this presentation I will focus on the travel blog as a significant instance of the ways up-to-date communication is moving forward in the digital era. Considering the blog in general and the travel blog in particular as a digital genre composed of various sub-genres, it is interesting to seek for links within it to unravel the type of exchanges enabled by textual relations. The most significant case involves the relation between the blog post and the blog comment. These two different sub-genres are linked to facilitate the purposes of the travel blog, namely to provide, disseminate and evaluate information about a certain topic, in this case, travelling and trips, allowing at the same time for audience’s feedback and recommendations. Hence, the concept of genre chain (Swales 2004) seems adequate to explore this context, as it lets us observe and draw conclusions with respect to the way linguistic patterns vary between one subgenre and the other. To do so, a corpus of 15 entries comprising posts, their corresponding comments and author’s responses has been compiled from 5 different travel blogs written in English. A corpus-driven approach has proved to be very useful to analyse the most prominent generic and linguistic features of each digital sub-genre and identify meaningful similarities and differences in their use and nature, understanding their function to a greater extent. All in all, this presentation aims to show how genre relations also trigger specific lexico-grammatical and linguistic implications in each sub-genre under study, helping to configure the genre of the travel blog.