By Way of Introduction: Brenta Blevins


Wiki. It’s a Hawaiian word for “quick.” It’s also a framework for pulling information together and quickly formatting it to share with others on the web. As such, the wiki is a perfect for assembling and publishing information about digital rhetoric because of the rapid pace of change in the technological realm. We here at the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative host a Wiki to share information about the ever-evolving areas of digital rhetoric and computers and writing.

I am beginning my work as a fellow for the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative by focusing on the DRC wiki. I’m interested in exploring ways to expand our topic coverage, to find techniques to ease additions and to improve article creation, as well as to increase the citation of research used to develop articles. Currently studying digital rhetoric and literacy, I come to the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative with a professional background in technical communication. I’m particularly excited to be involved with this project because wikis are sites of communication. Wikis are community-constructed knowledge bases shared for wiki users both to get the information they need and to contribute they information they have.

While we fellows are working to expand the DRC Wiki coverage of the history of computers and writing and digital rhetoric, we invite you to contribute your expertise and knowledge—whether to expand an existing DRC Wiki article, to edit material that’s already there, or to simply add a topic that the DRC Wiki should include. On this last point, a great wiki feature is that editors can create stub articles that are placeholders for a topic that the wiki should but does not yet include. In the future, that editor, another editor, or multiple editors can add information to that article, either all at once or in stages. If you have digital rhetoric or computers and writing classes, I encourage you to have students look at and contribute to the DRC Wiki. We invite you and fellow students to get involved by joining and adding to the DRC Wiki.

Proving the point about wikis being community-constructed, the digital rhetoric and computers and writing community has already made contributions to the DRC wiki. Laura Gonzales (…laura-gonzales/) talked recently about how the DRC solicited feedback at WIDE-EMU to aid our efforts to expand the DRC Wiki to be more helpful in classrooms and research projects. We’re aiming to present at the 2014 Computers and Writing Conference, to talk about the development of the Wiki and to share some of the challenges of constructing the information we aim to share on the Wiki. If you have any suggestions for the DRC Wiki, questions, or to offer any type of feedback about the wiki, please email me (

Because the DRC Wiki is, like most wikis, a community-constructed collaborative effort, we want to thank you for all of your contributions—past, present, and future—to the DRC Wiki. To borrow another Hawaiian word: Mahalo.

About Author

Brenta Blevins

A Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative fellow in 2013-14 and 2014-15, Brenta Blevins is an Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Digital Studies at the University of Mary Washington. She completed her PhD in digital rhetoric and composition at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where her dissertation examined the rhetoric and literacy of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. She previously worked in the software development industry. Her current research interests include Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality, digital literacy and digital pedagogy, and multiliteracy/multimodality.

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