Establishing a Presence on the World Wide Web: A Rhetorical Approach

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This article presents a framework, grounded in the classic rhetorical concept of ethos, for thinking about how technical communicators might examine the unique characteristics of the World Wide Web and the audiences it serves. The usefulness and increasing popularity of the Web is based on how well individuals and organizations use the technology as a means of establishing an online ethos. Technical communicators are already familiar with the obvious goal of establishing a professional ethos, but they might also consider some techniques for establishing sites having a more diverse and communal ethos. This ethos is expressed in "special interest" Web sites constructed by individuals, and several commercially-oriented organizations have also successfully incorporated this ethos into their sites.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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