Old wooden doors

I look at how technology shapes urban environments and social relations, and I think out loud about leadership and communication—trends, best practices and strategies that build on traditional and emerging technologies in hard and social science. I’m inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message”, where the mode of delivery shapes the meaning and trajectory of a message, and vice versa.


San Jose, Costa Rica


  1. drheckleandmrjibe

    Hi Chris,

    What specific nuances of communication does blogging automatically confer to the message in your opinion?

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chris Delatorre

    H&J – great question. First some context. Ten years ago, digital rhetorician Carolyn Miller positioned blogging as a genre, which basically means it represents a unique form of discourse, in that it has a common name and operates by its own set of rules (e.g. first person style, timestamps, latest entries first).

    Blogging is a result of the Internet, where the real-time, “one-to-many”, permanent nature of what we say implies a certain degree of authority and accountability, but where the basic tenets of journal writing are observed. We might entertain conjecture as fact, but our sources either check out or they don’t. Blogging as CMC (computer-mediated communication) assumes that what we put out is there forever and for everyone to see. Comms expert Clay Calvert says the three main motivations behind “mediated voyeurism” are (and these are reduced): 1. the pursuit of truth; 2. the desire for excitement; and 3. the need for involvement. This is what readers typically want.

    Calvert also talks about “mediated exhibitionism”, which bloggers use for social validation, relationship development and social control. The more personal information we offer our readers, the more we expect in return, or something like that. Going a step further, commenting, sharing and paraphrasing build on original thoughts, creating new contexts through collaboration. Bloggers and their readers engage in voyeurism and exhibitionism simultaneously as they drop in and out of comment strings and social media posts. We share opinions from our own experiences, and by shaping the world through our blogs, we enrich the worldviews of others.

    So. Within the context of blogging, the message is fluid and impressionable, taking on the identities of others, becoming less a personal effort and more a community practice. That’s the idea, at least. Check out Miller’s “Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog” and let me know what you think!


  3. Eric Tonningsen

    Chris, I appreciate the time and effort you expend on creating substantive messages/posts. I’ve only now visited your blog and look forward to returning to read more. Your thoughts and words are meaningful, thought-provoking and inspiring. Thank you.


    • Chris Delatorre

      Eric, thanks. I’m still shaping the blog and your input is always welcome. Let me know if you’d ever like for me to write on a specific topic, and let’s connect on Twitter if you’re there (@urbanmolecule) – I’m posting there more frequently these days. Looking forward to more of your posts!


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